In late June 2021, the EU, USA and UK expanded economic and financial sanctions against Belarus, making it one of the most nuanced sanctions regimes, and directly and indirectly impacting businesses all over the world.
Screening against the publicly available sanctions lists is not sufficient. The prohibitions include making any funds or assets directly or indirectly available to sanctions targets, as well as dealing with non-listed entities owned/controlled by them. It is imperative to understand who is pulling the strings and not just to know the names, explain the sanction experts from ECOVIS ProventusLaw.
Trade Embargo and Related Services
Export restrictions encompass a wide range of equipment, technology and goods, including certain vehicles, IT, and even tobacco paper. Related financing, technical assistance, insurance, and other services are also prohibited. Knowing the underlying purpose of the transaction and the end-user is key. Read the annexes of (EU) 2021/1030 carefully to learn where you may be vulnerable.
Petrol and Potassium Chloride-Related Import Restrictions
Although the prohibitions on imports are without prejudice to the execution of contracts concluded before 25 June 2021, or ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts, it is prohibited to participate, knowingly and intentionally, in activities whose object or effect is, directly or indirectly, to circumvent this prohibition.
We can support you in finding your way through the jungle of sanctions regulations against Belarus. Inga Karulaitytė-Kvainauskienė, Head of Fintech Group, Attorney at Law, Partner, ECOVIS ProventusLaw, Vilnius, Lithuania
Sectoral Sanctions – Finance
Restrictions are placed on access to the EU capital markets in relation to the Belarusian Government, Belarusbank, Belinvestbank, Belagroprombank, their subsidiaries and other entities, and there are prohibitions on providing insurance and reinsurance to the Belarusian Government and Belarusian public bodies and agencies. Sanctions targets are the masters of sanctions evasion – always exercise caution.
US Sanctions on Belarus
Non-US persons dealing with the US-sanctioned Belarusian entities and their subsidiaries not only run the risk of being fined but may also be added to the US sanctions lists if they “materially assist” the sanctions targets. Key lesson: The US sanctions may not be legally binding. However, the consequences of violation may be fatal. Compliance is highly recommended, say the Ecovis advisers.