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Sanctions regimes

Russia

Why are sanctions imposed?

Australia imposes autonomous sanctions in relation to Russia in response to the Russian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. They were first imposed in 2014 and extended in 2015.

Australia also imposes other autonomous sanctions in relation to Crimea and Sevastopol and Ukraine in response to the Russian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Go to the Crimea and Sevastopol Sanctions Regime and the Ukraine Sanctions Regime for further information.

What is prohibited by the Russia sanctions regime?

The Russia sanctions regime imposes the following sanctions measures:

Measure

UNSC

Autonomous

restrictions on the export or supply of certain goods

 

restrictions on the import, purchase or transport of certain goods

 

restrictions on certain commercial activities

 

restrictions on the provision of certain services

 

restrictions on providing assets to designated persons or entities

 

restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities

 

travel bans on designated persons

 

 Restrictions on the export or supply of certain goods

It is prohibited to directly or indirectly supply, sell or transfer to Russia any of the following goods:

  • arms or related materiel
  • items suited for use in the following categories of oil exploration or oil production projects in Russia (as specified in the Autonomous Sanctions (Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol) Specification 2015):
  1. oil exploration and production in waters deeper than 150 metres;
  2. oil exploration and production in the offshore area north of the Arctic Circle;
  3. projects that have the potential to produce oil from resources located in shale formations by way of hydraulic fracturing (other than exploration and production through shale formations to locate or extract oil from non‐shale reservoirs).

Arms or related matériel includes, but is not limited to, weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, and spare parts and accessories for any of those things. It also includes paramilitary equipment. While each case will be considered individually, goods on the Defence and Strategic Goods List are likely to be considered arms or related matériel. Depending on the context, end user and end use, other goods may also be considered arms or related matériel.  Go to Factsheet: Arms and Related Matériel for information on what to consider when assessing whether a good is an arm or related matériel.

Restrictions on the import, purchase or transport of certain goods

It is prohibited to import, purchase or transport arms or related materiel if they originate in or have been exported from Russia.

Restrictions on certain commercial activities

It is prohibited to deal with financial instruments issued by, or providing loans or credit to:

  • specified publicly‐owned or controlled Russian banks
  • specified Russian companies predominantly engaged in activities relating to military equipment or services
  • specified publicly‐owned or controlled Russian companies involved in the sale or transport of crude oil or petroleum products
  • majority owned subsidiaries or entities acting as agents for any of the above.

 

Restrictions on the provision of certain services

To complement the restrictions on the export/import of goods and on some commercial activities, the provision of services which relate to some of those sanctioned goods or activities is also restricted. It is prohibited to provide:

  • services which relate to the supply of arms or related matériel to Russia
  • investment services which relate to sanctioned commercial activities (see ‘Restrictions on commercial activities’ above)
  • services to Russia, or for use in Russia, which relate to:
    • a military activity, or
    • the manufacture, maintenance or use of arms or related matériel
  • certain services to Russia (or to a person or entity for use in Russia) that are necessary for specified types of oil exploration or production projects in Russia. For example, drilling or well‐testing services.

Restrictions on providing assets to designated persons or entities

Targeted financial sanctions have been imposed against 'designated' persons and entities from both Russia and Ukraine in response to the Russian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Go to the Ukraine Sanctions Regime for further information on Australian sanctions laws prohibiting dealing with a designated person or entity and dealing with controlled assets.

Restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities (requirement to freeze assets)

It is prohibited to use or deal with an asset, or allow or facilitate another person to use or deal with an asset owned or controlled by a designated person or entity (the assets are ‘frozen’ and cannot be used or dealt with). The prohibition on ‘dealing’ with assets includes using, selling or moving assets. ‘An 'asset' includes an asset or property of any kind, whether tangible or intangible, movable or immovable.

Go to the Consolidated List to search the names of designated persons and entities.

If you become aware that you are holding an asset of a designated person or entity, you are required to freeze (hold) that asset and notify the AFP as soon as possible. Go to What You Need to Do for more information.

Travel bans

Travel bans have been imposed against 'declared' persons from both Russia and Ukraine in response to the Russian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Go to the Ukraine Sanctions Regime for further information on Australian sanctions laws preventing declared person from travelling to, entering or remaining in Australia. 

 

Sanctions Permits

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit to allow an activity that would otherwise be prohibited under these regimes provided the activity meets specific criteria.

The table below provides a general guide to relevant criteria. You should get your own legal advice if you think your proposed activity is affected by sanctions and may meet the criteria for a permit. Go to Sanctions Permits for information on permits, including how to apply.  

 

 

Measure

Criteria

Reference 

Restrictions of the export or supply of certain goods

The Foreign Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to grant a permit

 

Regulations 4, 12 and 18 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011

Autonomous Sanctions (Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol) Specification 2015

Regulation 11 of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958

Restrictions on the import, purchase or transport of certain goods

The Foreign Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to grant a permit

Regulations 3, 4A, 12A and 18 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011

Restrictions on certain commercial activities

The Foreign Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to grant a permit

Regulations 3, 5A, 12 and 18 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011

Restrictions on provision of certain services

The Foreign Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to grant a permit

Regulations 5, 13 and 18 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011

US and Other Foreign Sanctions Laws

It is important you consider the wider legal and commercial context of your trade and investments, and seek your own legal advice on the sanctions laws of other countries, including the United States, that might apply to your specific context. Australian businesses engaging with Russian entities should monitor US sanctions and seek legal advice on whether your operations are affected. You may also wish to consult with your financial institution to ensure that any payments from Russia can be accepted, as some banks have restricted dealing with Russia due to US sanctions law. The Australian Government is not in a position to provide advice on the implications of US sanctions law.

Relevant legislation

The relevant legislation for the Russia sanctions regime includes the following:

Other Resources

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