Juni 26. 2023

European Union Publishes 11th Sanctions Package Against Russia


On June 23, 2023, the European Union adopted its 11th Sanctions Package against Russia.
The new package introduces additional asset freeze measures, as well as new prohibitions on the provision of services and on exports to Russia, such as the sale, licensing or transfer of intellectual property rights or trade secrets. It also focuses on tackling the circumvention of existing measures and on an increased cooperation between member states.

The 11th Sanctions Package also introduces additional grounds for authorisations to release certain frozen funds or economic resources belonging to the designated persons, as well as to undertake certain, otherwise prohibited activities.

  1. New asset freeze measures and prohibitions on trade in goods and services

(a) Asset freeze measures and authorizations

The 11th Sanctions Package results in the addition of 71 individuals and 33 entities to the list of individuals and entities subject to the European Union’s asset freeze measures. Notably, the list of entities now includes two additional banks: the MRB Bank and the CMR Bank. In addition, the Union adds a new ground for the listing of individuals significantly frustrating the prohibition against circumvention of the EU sanctions against Russia.

The 11th Sanctions Package also introduces new grounds for authorisations to release certain frozen funds or economic resources belonging to designated persons, among others:

  • for the conversion by nationals or residents of member states or EU entities of a depositary receipt with Russian underlying security held with the Russian National Settlement Depository for the purpose of selling the underlying security
  • for the release of funds or economic resources necessary for the setting up, certification and evaluation of a firewall which removes the control over the assets of a non-listed person owned or controlled by a listed person, and which ensures that no further funds or economic resources accrue for the benefit of the listed person
  • for authorization relates to the release of frozen funds or economic resources belonging to VTB Bank and the Russian National Settlement Depository, as well as the making available of funds and economic resources to them, necessary for the disposal or the transfer of securities by an entity in the Union currently or previously controlled by VTB Bank

(b) Export Restrictions

The new sanctions package prohibits the sale, licensing, transfer or the granting of rights to access or re-use intellectual property rights or trade secrets related to certain goods and technology subject to export restrictions (e.g., dual-use items, goods suited for use in oil refining and liquefaction of natural gas, for use in aviation or the space industry, or for maritime navigation) to individuals or entities in Russia, or for use in Russia.

The European Union furthermore prohibits the unauthorized transit of goods through Russia which might contribute to Russia’s military and technological enhancement, or the development of the defence and security sector (Annex VII items), suited for use in aviation or the space industry (Annex XI items) and of jet fuel and fuel additives (Annex XX items).

The 11th Sanctions Package adds 87 new entries to the list of entities for which enhanced export restrictions apply (Annex IV entities) and subjects new items to export prohibitions under Annex VII, including electronic components, semiconductor material, manufacturing and testing equipment for electronic integrated circuits and printed circuit boards, precursors to energetic materials and precursors to chemical weapons, optical components, navigational instruments, metals used in the defence sector and marine equipment. Further export prohibitions are imposed on goods which could contribute to the enhancement of Russian industrial capacities in Annex XXIII.

(c) Import Restrictions

The 11th Sanctions Package prohibits access to Union ports and locks to any vessel that the competent authority has reasonable cause to suspect is in breach of the prohibitions applicable to crude oil and petroleum products. An exemption applies for maritime safety or for lifesaving efforts at sea, and an authorization can be obtained for humanitarian purposes.

A similar prohibition was added for vessels performing ship-to-ship transfers in the exclusive economic zone of a member state or 12 nautical miles from a member state coastline without informing the competent authority at least 48 hours in advance, or illegally interfering, switching off or disabling automatic identification systems, at any point of a voyage to a member state’s ports or locks.

Regarding the forthcoming prohibition to import or purchase certain iron and steel products—when processed in a third country incorporating iron and steel products originating in Russia—it has been clarified that, at the moment of importation, importers must provide evidence of the country of origin of the iron and steel inputs used for the processing of the product in a third country. 

(d) Prohibition on the provision of services

Regarding the prohibition to supply services to the entities established in Russia the 11th Sanctions Package provides, among others, for the following additional grounds for authorizations:

  • for the provision of accounting, auditing, including statutory audit, bookkeeping or tax consulting services, or business and management consulting or public relations services, as well as architectural and engineering services, legal advisory services and IT, if necessary to remove the control by a listed person of a non-listed entity
  • for the provision of auditing services, engineering services, legal advisory services and technical testing and analysis services for the operation and maintenance of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium
  • for the provision of legal services required for the completion of a sale or transfer of proprietary rights directly or indirectly by a Russian entity in an EU entity

The already existing ground for authorisation for the provision of services necessary for the divestment from Russia, or the wind-down of business activities in Russia, is extended until 31 March 2024.

2. Tackling the circumvention of existing measures

In order to address the transhipment of controlled items to Russia through third countries, the 11th Sanctions Package introduces the possibility to restrict the sale, supply, transfer or export of certain goods and technology to certain third countries in the future. The European Union also introduces the possibility to prohibit the provision of technical assistance, brokering services or other services and the provision of financing or financial assistance for such goods to persons in these countries or for use in these countries. The prohibition on the sale, license or transfer of intellectual property rights or trade secrets also applies to these countries and goods.

At present, however, the European Union has neither identified any goods and technology subject to these restrictions, nor identified the third countries that would be subject to these restrictions. It is expected that the addition of specific items and third countries to which these items cannot be sold will only be used as a last resort if bilateral or multilateral cooperation fails to yield the intended result of preventing circumvention, and when individual measures against operators of the third country are insufficient or inadequate to prevent circumvention. Importantly, in parallel to the publication of the 11th Sanctions Package, the European Commission ("Commission") published a list of items for which anomalous trade flows via certain third countries to Russia have been detected. This list is meant to help exporters and authorities of third countries to prevent the use of their territory for circumvention purposes. The Commission also published a similar list of high priority battlefield items. These lists will likely serve as the basis for future listings of products under Annex XXXIII.

The 11th Sanctions Package also requires EU economic operators to immediately supply any information which would facilitate the implementation of EU sanctions to the competent authority of the member state where they are resident or located within two weeks of acquiring this information. Before, a similar obligation only existed for asset freeze measures. This new obligation, together with the enhanced cooperation between Member States detailed below, will give national competent authorities ("NCAs") the necessary data to identify and act against violations of EU sanctions, including their circumvention.

3. Increased cooperation between member states

In an attempt to avoid conflicting decisions between NCAs, the 11th Sanctions Package includes measures to enhance cooperation between member states on the granting and denial of authorisations. In particular, EU member states denying an authorisation shall inform other member states, and before granting an authorisation for a transaction that is essentially identical to a transaction subject to a denial in another member state, a member state shall first consult the member state which issued the denial. 

Mayer Brown provides an integrated Sanctions & Export Control practice covering the three key jurisdictions (the United States, European Union, and United Kingdom) and capable of providing rapid consolidated and practical advice on how to comply with sometimes conflicting and diverging sanctions regimes. For further information on sanctions developments from the European Union, United States, United Kingdom, and other jurisdictions, please visit our Sanctions & Export Controls page.



1 Council Regulation (EU) 2023/1214 of 23 June 2023 amending Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine, OJ L 159I , 23.6.2023, p. 1; Council Regulation (EU) 2023/1215 of 23 June 2023 amending Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, OJ L 159I , 23.6.2023, p. 330; and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1216 of 23 June 2023 implementing Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, OJ L 159I , 23.6.2023, p. 335, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2023:159I:FULL.

2 European Commission, Economically Critical Goods List, available at: https://finance.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2023-06/230623-list-economically-critical-goods_en.pdf.

3 European Commission, Addressing the circumvention of EU export restrictions against Russia – List of High Priority Battlefield Items, available at: https://finance.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2023-06/230623-list-high-priority-battlefield-items_en.pdf.

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