EU restrictive measures relating to actions in Ukraine

Update as at 18 December 2023

Given the developing situation in Ukraine, Central Bank of Ireland will publish details of new restrictive measures/sanctions that are adopted in this regard, as well as any associated EU Guidance, on this page. All natural and legal persons must comply with EU Regulations relating to financial sanctions as soon as they are adopted. While sanctions are applicable to all natural and legal persons, given the nature of the activities carried out by credit and financial institutions, some additional guidance is provided below for this sector.

The European Commission has a dedicated webpage, entitled Sanctions adopted following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine , which contains information on the various sanctions adopted, including Frequently Asked Questions. The page is regularly updated. Therefore, you are encouraged to regularly visit this page for the latest information, in particular prior to contacting the Central Bank with queries relating to sanctions adopted. 

In addition, the EU Sanctions Map provides comprehensive details of all EU sanctions regimes and their corresponding legal acts, including those regimes adopted by the UN Security Council and transposed as EU level.

Guidance for Firms

There is a legal obligation to comply with EU Council Regulations relating to financial sanctions as soon as they are adopted.  Once a person, entity or body has been listed under an EU restrictive measure regime, they are known as a “Designated Person”. On listing, there is a legal obligation not to transfer funds or make funds or economic resources available, directly or indirectly, to that Designated Person.  Accounts, funds or other assets belonging to a Designated Person should be frozen without delay, so that they cannot be made available, directly or indirectly, to that Designated Person.

Firms must ensure that they are compliant with financial sanctions at all times. This includes carrying out ongoing monitoring of transactions and customers.  To ensure compliance with EU financial sanctions, it is necessary to monitor the EU Financial Sanctions lists. The European Commission maintains a consolidated list of individuals, groups and organisations subject to EU financial sanctions.

What to do if a match or "hit" occurs

In the event that a match or a “hit” occurs against a Designated Person, Firms must immediately freeze the account(s) and/or stop the transaction(s) and report the “hit” to the Central Bank by email to [email protected], using the Sanctions Return Form.

For further information on sanctions reporting, please visit the Central Bank’s dedicated Sanctions Reporting webpage.

On 23 June 2023, the EU adopted an eleventh package of sanctions. Briefly, these measures comprise:

  • Amendments to existing sanctions regime – Ukraine (Territorial Integrity) Regime (Council Regulation 2023/1215 and Council Implementing Regulation 2023/1216)
    Council Regulation 2023/1215 introduces a further criterion for the listing of natural or legal persons, entities or bodies subject to the asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds and economic resources available to designated persons and entities.  It also amends one of the existing listing criteria. Further derogations from the asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds and economic resources available to certain listed entities have been introduced to allow for divestment from Russian companies and the disposal of certain types of securities held with specified listed entities, and extended the deadline for the derogation allowing for divestment by a specific listed entity. It also introduced a derogation allowing for the setting-up, certification or evaluation of a “firewall” that removes the control exercised by a listed person over the assets of a non-listed Union entity which the listed person owns or controls and that ensures that no benefit accrues to the latter, thus allowing that entity to continue its business operations.

    Council Implementing Regulation 2023/1216 adds 71 persons and 33 entities to the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures.
  • Amendments to existing sanctions regime – Russia (Sectoral Measures) Regime (Council Regulation 2023/1214)
    This introduces, inter alia, a new “anti-circumvention tool” which will allow the EU to restrict the sale, supply, transfer or export of specified sanctioned goods and technology to certain third countries whose jurisdictions are considered to be at continued and particularly high risk of circumvention. This new “anti-circumvention” tool will be an exceptional and last resort measure when other individual measures and outreach by the EU to concerned third countries have been insufficient to prevent circumvention. It adds 87 new entities to the list of those directly supporting Russia's military and industrial complex in its war of aggression against Ukraine. They are subject to tighter export restrictions for dual-use and advanced technology items. In addition to the Russian and Iranian entities already listed, this now also covers entities registered in China, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates, Syria and Armenia.

Further information and background to these measures can be found on the European Council website

 

Important information regarding EU restrictive measures, relating to actions in Ukraine