EU sanctions in response to situation in Ukraine

In response to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the European Union (EU) has introduced 11 sanctions packages. The sanctions are targeted at the non-government controlled areas of Ukraine, (Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaphorizhzhia oblasts), Russia and Belarus.

The overall sanctions packages comprise targeted restrictive measures on specified individuals and entities, economic relations with the non-government controlled areas of Ukraine, financial restrictions against Russia and various import and export prohibitions in relation to Russia and Belarus. These measures must be implemented effectively, both by EU competent authorities and by EU economic operators. 

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) is the competent authority in Ireland with responsibility for implementing the various measures that have been adopted concerning trade sanctions. Revenue Customs assists DETE in the control of imports and exports subject to sanctions and have implemented customs controls to give effect to these measures.

Further information may be found at the following links:

Circumvention of EU Restrictive Measures

The sanction measures ban the direct or indirect import or export of specific goods, and prohibit any actions to circumvent these prohibitions. They also require Member States to apply penalties for any infringements of the regulations.

In view of the possibility of circumvention, economic operators in the EU are advised to take adequate steps to prevent circumvention of the measures:

  • When exporting goods, traders should pay particular attention when exporting to third countries where such exports may be diverted easily towards Russia and Belarus. Particular attention must be paid to exports of sanctioned goods to countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) - Russia, Belarus Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyztan-, as goods in any member of the EAEU are in free circulation throughout the EAEU.
  • When importing goods from third countries, importers should pay particular attention to their origin as sanctioned goods can be diverted to the EU. Specifically, particular attention is necessary where third countries do not apply restrictions on their imports from Russia and Belarus. Particular care should also be applied to goods imported from other EAEU countries, as these goods are considered in free circulation throughout the EAEU.

Exporters and importers are advised to take steps to ensure that their import and export contracts include provisions to ensure that the goods do not originate in or are not destined for Russia or Belarus. These provisions may include a statement that compliance with these measures is an essential element of the contract, or contractual clauses committing the importer in third countries not:

  • to export the goods concerned to Russia or Belarus
  • and
  • not to resell the goods to any third-party that in turn does not make a commitment that the goods will not be subsequently exported to Russia or Belarus.

Guidance on preventing circumvention may be found at the following links: