Fifth sanctions package issued, scope of EU’s export restrictions imposed on Russia extended

On 8 April 2022, the European Union issued new sanctions, most of which will enter into force on 9 April 2022. [link] The new sanctions package will expand, for example, the export restrictions imposed on Russia and restrict imports and transport related to trade with Russia.

The export restrictions will be expanded in many ways. The Export Control Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs would like to draw the exporters’ attention especially to the following changes.

  • New products will be added to the list of export bans on products and technology that might promote Russia’s military or technological capabilities. The additions will extend the scope of the export ban to, for example, the following products and related expertise (Articles 2 and 2a):

    •  products related to oil production and exploration,

    • products related to quantum computing and electronics,

    • various microscopes,

    • products related to deep-sea mining,

    • products used for 3D printing,

    • products used in electronics manufacturing,

    • vacuum pumps,

    • cryogenic refrigeration systems,

    • synthetic fuels and high-efficiency solar panels, and

    • energetic materials (including explosives and propellants).

At the same time, the exemption concerning these products and dual-use items, which enabled the exports related to civilian telecommunications, will be limited to a very narrow scope. In future, it will only apply to networks used privately by parties which are not the property of an entity that is publicly controlled or with over 50 % public ownership.

  • As a new measure, it will be prohibited to export certain goods that could contribute to the enhancement of Russian industrial capacities to Russian parties or for use in Russia. The list of prohibited products, based on tariff headings, contains a wide range of products, such as:

    • plants and their bulbs

    • stone products

    • gases and industrial chemicals

    • colouring matter, products related to dyeing, and paints

    • products related to photography

    • biodiesel fuels

    • polymers, plastic and rubber products

    • articles of wood

    • paper, paperboard and cellulose products

    • fabric, yarn and other textiles as well as other products related to textile industry

    • insulation materials

    • ceramics and glass products

    • iron, steel, tin and zirconium products

    • burners, boilers and related products

    • lifting equipment, machinery, commercial vehicles and their trailers

    • machine tools and other equipment in the manufacturing industry.

    • Electric motors, generators and transformers and related products.

  • Other export prohibitions will be made stricter as follows:

    • The exemption will be removed from the export ban on certain products related to the production and transport of fossil fuels, for example, which has enabled the export of these products in connection with the import of coal to the EU. (Article 3)

    • For example, the list of export bans on products and technologies used in oil refining technology will be expanded and specified. The expansion covers products related to liquefaction of natural gas, among other things. (Article 3b)

    • The export ban applying to the aviation sector will be extended to apply to aviation fuels and their additives. (Article 3c)

    • Various parts and raw materials of jewellery and incomplete jewellery as well as certain optical equipment will be added to the list of export bans on luxury products.  (Article 3h)

The new sanctions also include import restrictions that affect trade with Russia. The Export Control Unit draws companies’ particular attention to the following import restrictions:

  • Imports of products that are significant sources of income for Russia will be prohibited. The prohibitions apply to, for example, caviar, chemical industry products, raw wood, pulp and paper, glass products, certain metal products, certain machinery and equipment, furniture and their parts.

  • An import ban will be imposed on coal and certain peat fuels, but not on crude oil, with a three-month transition period.

Restrictions on transport to and from Russia also affect exports and imports. Key new measures:

  • Road transport by Russian transport undertakings within the EU will be prohibited. The prohibition does not apply to postal or transit transport to Kaliningrad. The authorities of a Member State may grant an exemption to the transport of gas, oil and certain other raw materials, as well as to the transport of medical, agricultural and food products.

  • Ships sailing under the Russian flag will be prohibited to access the ports of EU countries. The ban also applies to vessels that have changed their Russian flag or registration to the flag or register of any other state after 24 February 2022 However, the authorities may grant exemptions for the transport of gas, oil and certain other raw materials, as well as for the transport of medical, agricultural and food products.