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Sanctions regimes

Specified Ukraine regions sanctions regime

The Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Ukraine Regions) Regulations 2022 (the Ukraine Regions Regulations) will commence on 28 March 2022.

The Ukraine Regions Regulations amend the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 to extend to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine the sanctions measures already applied to Crimea and Sevastopol.

These sanctions measures target exports and commercial activity in relation to the transport, telecommunications, energy and exploitation of oil, gas and mineral reserve sectors; and prohibit all imports.

These sanctions measures will apply to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine from 28 March 2022. This will allow Australians and Australian entities with interests in those regions to consider whether their activities are captured by the sanctions measures; and if they are, either to cease their activities, or to apply to the Minister for Foreign Affairs for a sanctions permit to continue their activities.

Why are sanctions imposed?

Australia imposes autonomous sanctions in relation to the Ukraine regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Crimea and Sevastopol (specified Ukraine regions) in response to the Russian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. They were first imposed in relation to Crimea and Sevastopol in 2014 and extended in 2015. In 2022, the sanctions were extended to include Donetsk and Luhansk.

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

What is prohibited by the specified Ukraine regions?

The specified Ukraine regions 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 supply, sell or transfer any of the following goods directly or indirectly to, for use in, or for the benefit of a specified Ukraine regions:

  • certain items relating to the creation, acquisition or development of infrastructure for:
    • the transport, telecommunications or energy sectors
    • the exploration of oil, gas or mineral reserves in any of the Ukraine regions
  • machinery and related goods (as designated in the Autonomous Sanctions (Export Sanctioned Goods – Specified Ukraine Regions) Designation 2023)

Restrictions on the import, purchase or transport of certain goods

It is prohibited to import, purchase or transport any goods if the goods originate in, or are exported from, a specified Ukraine regions. This prohibition does not include goods originating in a specified Ukraine regions which have been made available to the Ukrainian authorities for examination and for which compliance with the conditions conferring entitlement to preferential origin has been verified by Ukrainian officials.

Restrictions on certain commercial activities

It is prohibited to grant loans or credit or establish joint ventures relating to

  • the creation, acquisition or development of infrastructure in the transport, telecommunications or energy sectors
  • the exploitation of oil or gas, or of specified mineral resources, in specified Ukraine regions.

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 export sanctioned goods to any of the specified Ukraine regions, or to the manufacture, maintenance or use of such goods for the specified Ukraine regions (see ‘Restrictions on the export or supply of goods’ above)
  • financial assistance or financial services which relate to goods originating in or exported from the specified Ukraine regions
  • services to the specified Ukraine regions, or for use in the specified Ukraine regions, which relate to engagement in a sanctioned commercial activity for the specified Ukraine regions (see ‘Restrictions on commercial activities’ above)

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 and Russia Sanctions Regime for information on Australian sanctions law 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 information on Australian sanctions law preventing declared persons from traveling to, entering or remaining in Australia.

Sanctions Permits

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant 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 sanctions permits and applying for a permit.

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

FAQs

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

Autonomous Sanctions (Export Sanctioned Goods – Specified Ukraine Regions) Designation 2023

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

FAQs

 

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 specified Ukraine regions sanctions regime includes the following:

Other Resources

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