Opinion

UK Russia sanctions: back in the spotlight

Published Date
Sep 12, 2023
Sanctions and the systems and controls companies have in place to comply with them seem to be back in the spotlight.  

In addition to guidance recently published by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, a number of recent decisions from the courts and various regulators underline a push by the UK to demonstrate the robustness of its sanctions and a focus on their enforcement.

  • In Eugene Shvidler v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs [2023] EWHC 2121 (Admin) the UK High Court rejected the claimant’s arguments that his designation was disproportionate and discriminatory, highlighting the difficulties that designated persons will face in attempting to overturn their designation in the UK.
  • HMRC has fined a UK company GBP1 million in relation to the unlicensed trade of goods in breach of the UK’s Russia-related trade sanctions. A unusually large fine to be imposed by HMRC in relation to such violations.
  • OFSI has used its new disclosure enforcement power for the first time to publish details of a financial sanction breach where OFSI had decided that the breaches were not serious enough to justify a civil monetary penalty, but nevertheless warranted some form of enforcement action.

Lawyers from our International Trade and Regulatory Law group consider all of these decisions in more detail in: A designation challenge fails and two enforcement actions are announced: the UK’s Russia sanctions in motion 

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