The eighth package of sanctions against Russia has been published by the Official Journal. This follows the seventh 'maintenance and alignment' package introduced in July 2022, the extension of the sectoral sanctions in August 2022 for a further 6 months, and the extension of the sanctions against individuals and entities in September 2022 for a further 6 months. For more information on those developments, read our earlier insights here:
Eighth Package – Key Details
Price Cap Derogation (Crude Oil and Petroleum Products)
A derogation has been introduced from the ban on the provision of technical assistance, brokering services, financing or financial assistance relating to the maritime transport of crude oil and petroleum products, in each case which originate in or are exported from Russia. The derogation will apply if the products are purchased at or below a pre-established price cap. This is conditional on the EU Council introducing the price cap into Annex XI of EU Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP once the cap has been agreed by the Price Cap Coalition (the composition of that coalition is being worked on by the G7 in conjunction with the EU).
The import ban on steel products that either originate in, or have been exported from, Russia has been extended. Import restrictions have also been imposed on additional items that generate significant revenues for Russia.
The export prohibition has been expanded by adding new items to the list of goods which could contribute to the enhancement of Russia's industrial capacities.
Restrictions have also been imposed on the sale, supply, transfer or export of additional goods used in the aviation sector.
A further 30 individuals and 7 entities have also been sanctioned, bringing the total number to 1236 individuals and 115 entities. See the related EU Council press release for more detail.
The list of restricted items which could contribute to Russia's military and technological enhancement or the development of its defence and security sector has been extended. A prohibition has also been introduced on the sale, supply, transfer or export of civilian firearms and their essential components and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts.
Posts on Governing Bodies
EU nationals cannot hold any posts on the governing bodies of certain Russian state-owned or controlled legal persons, entities or bodies.
The Russian Maritime Shipping Register has been added to the list of state-owned entities that are subject to the transaction ban. The EU port access and lock ban has been extended to vessels certified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.
There is now a full prohibition on the provision of crypto-asset wallet, account or custody services to Russian persons and residents, irrespective of the total value of those crypto-assets.
Provision of Services
There is now a prohibition on providing legal advisory services, architectural and engineering services, and IT consultancy services to Russia, subject to certain exclusions and derogations.
- 'architectural and engineering services'covers architectural and engineering services, integrated engineering services, urban planning and landscape architectural services and engineering-related scientific and technical consulting services.
- 'IT consultancy services'covers consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware, including assistance services to the clients in the installation of computer hardware (i.e. physical equipment) and computer networks, and software implementation services, including all services involving consultancy services on, development of and implementation of software.
- 'Legal advisory services'covers the provision of legal advice to customers in non-contentious matters, including commercial transactions, involving the application or interpretation of law; participation with or on behalf of clients in commercial transactions, negotiations and other dealings with third parties; and preparation, execution and verification of legal documents. It does not include any representation, advice, preparation of documents or verification of documents in the context of legal representation services, namely in matters or proceedings before administrative agencies, courts or other duly constituted official tribunals, or in arbitral or mediation proceedings.
The 23 February import ban on goods from the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk has been extended to cover Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.