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Russia

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On 9 June 2021, the Swiss Government announced that the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) and the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation (FCS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on customs cooperation in Moscow on 9 June 2021. The main objective of the MoU is to promote technical cooperation and the exchange of best practices in various areas. The MoU also provides an opportunity to optimise processes in the cross-border movement of goods with…

News in brief Foreign Internet sites, web-pages, information systems and programs aimed at Russian audiences may be required to open local offices in accordance with a draft law being considered by the Russian parliament.The new rules (contained in a draft law that was presented to the State Duma on 21 May 2021) will apply to foreign companies or individuals if their daily audience in Russia is more than 500 thousand users, provided they meet one of…

The European Parliament has adopted a non-binding resolution in the event of Russian troops entering Ukraine. The resolution proposes that imports of oil and gas from Russia to the EU be immediately stopped, that Russia should be excluded from the SWIFT payment system (used for international bank transfers) and that assets in the EU of oligarchs close to the Russian authorities and their families should be frozen in the event of Russian troops entry into…

The UK has issued the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 (the “Regulations“), which came into force on 26 April 2021. These Regulations are designed to ensure that sanctions relating to serious incidents of corruption are enforced. The Regulations will give the government the power to impose asset freezes on designated persons or those dealing with them, with the aim of preventing the UK from being used as a “haven for dirty money.” This is the first time…

Russia introduces restrictions on the activities of foreign auditors Under Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 622 dated 19 April 2021 “On restrictions on the provision of information and documentation to an audit organization, an individual auditor“ (“Decree”), starting from April 29, 2021, a wide list of audited Russian entities will cease to disclose information, that is normally subject to mandatory disclosure requirements, to audit organizations which are owned or controlled by…

In the past several days, the US Government has issued a slew of sanctions measures targeting Russia. These represent the first major escalation of sanctions against Russia under the Biden Administration and, according to a White House Fact Sheet, are stated to be in response to Russia’s “harmful foreign activities,” including efforts to undermine free and fair democratic elections and institutions, malicious cyber activities (including the recent SolarWinds incident), transnational corruption, targeting of dissidents and journalists,…

Under the Russian encryption regulations, notification to, or registration with, the Russian Federal Security Service (the FSB) is required in order to import and distribute foreign products (hardware and software) with encryption functions or features in the Russian Federation. Although the FSB is a sanctioned party, listed on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons (the “OFAC SDN List”) pursuant to the Cyber-Related Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R.…

On 13 April 2021, a new import ban will come into effect on 24 new categories of products originating from the Russian Federation. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a resolution amending the list of products prohibited for import into Ukraine from the Russian Federation, which was previously approved by its Resolution No. 1147 dated 30 December 2015 “On Banning the Import of Products Originating in the Russian Federation into the Customs Territory of…

On March 18, 2021, the US State Department (State) published a Federal Register notice that formally outlines the various US export controls targeting Russia that will be strengthened pursuant to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) as a result of State’s determination that the Russian Government had used a chemical weapon against its own nationals in violation of international law. These measures were previously announced by State and were summarized…

On 23 March 2021, the president of Ukraine enacted Presidential Decree No. 109/2021 dated 23 March 2021 “On the Decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated 23 March 2021 On Imposition, Cancellation and Amendment of Personal Special Economic and Other Restrictive Measures (Sanctions),” effective from 25 March 2021 (“Sanctions Decision”) imposing personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions) against almost 80 Russian companies, 23 Russian individuals and three Members of…