Switzerland: Further EU sanctions against Russia implemented

May 6, 2022

In view of Russia’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine, the Federal Council enacted further sanctions against Russia and Belarus on 27 April. This implements the Federal Council's decision of 13 April to adopt the EU's latest package of sanctions. The measures come into force at 6pm on 27 April 2022.

With the decision of 27 April, Switzerland is implementing the new measures decided by the EU on 8 April in view of Russia's ongoing military aggression in Ukraine. The Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) had already updated the list of sanctioned individuals, companies and entities on 13 April, resulting in the sanctioning of over 200 further individuals and entities. The Federal Council took the decision to adopt the EU's fifth package of sanctions at its meeting on 13 April. Following an analysis of the EU texts and in cooperation with the other agencies involved, the EAER prepared the incorporation of the measures into Swiss law and the amendments to the Ordinance on measures in connection with the situation in Ukraine and the Ordinance on measures against Belarus.

The new measures include far-reaching sanctions on goods, including a ban on imports of lignite and coal as well as on goods that are important sources of revenue for Russia (e.g. timber, cement, seafood, caviar). In addition, there are export bans on goods that can help strengthen Russia's industrial capacities (e.g. industrial robots or certain chemical products).

Further sanctions also come into force in the financial sector. Support within the framework of a Swiss national programme of Russian organisations which are publicly owned or controlled will be prohibited. With immediate effect, trusts may no longer be registered in Switzerland for Russian nationals or natural or legal persons resident in Russia. Various services for such trusts will also be prohibited.

In order for Switzerland to be able to fulfil its international obligations to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Ordinance now provides for an exemption for the export of special military goods. This is to enable Switzerland to export NBC protective equipment under a request for assistance from the OPCW.

As a result, Switzerland has now implemented most of the new EU measures against Russia. This excludes the EU bans concerning the award of public contracts to Russian nationals and organisations or entities established in Russia. The implementation of this ban raises various questions with regard to the allocation of competences between the Confederation and the cantons and the scope of application. On 27 April, the Federal Council instructed the competent bodies to carry out the necessary clarifications and to report back by the end of June. Currently, Russian nationals or individuals or companies based in Russia are of marginal importance for public tenders in Switzerland.

On 27 April, the Federal Council also adopted an amendment to the Ordinance on measures against Belarus (SR 946.231.116.9). The bans on the export of banknotes and the sale of securities to Belarusian nationals or residents or entities are extended to all official currencies of EU Member States. Until now, only securities and banknotes in Swiss francs and in euros were affected (the same measure is also planned for Russia).

The new measures will come into force at 6pm on 27 April 2022.

This information was published by the Federal Council. To read the original article go to:  https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-88265.html


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