After several serious war crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine, the EU has once again significantly expanded its sanctions against Russia. While some of the new sanctions extend existing prohibitions, most new sanctions provisions contain completely new trade restrictions. We summarised the main developments in this briefing.

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Almost four weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its ongoing military aggression, the EU has adopted another – the fourth – package of sanctions against Russia on 15 March 2022. This briefing provides an overview on these latest developments, which concern not only the adding of more oligarchs and regime-affiliated elites to the EU’s sanctions list, but also tighten trade restrictions with respect to, among others, the import of steel products, the trade with luxury goods, including vehicles and their spare parts, as well as transactions with certain Russian state-owned enterprises.

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Since last night, the EU has adopted further sanctions against Russia. The new restrictions concern the listing of further persons, including Oligarchs with close ties to President Putin, and the aviation sector. The SWIFT de-coupling is not yet legally implemented.

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On 25 February 2022, the European Union (EU) has agreed upon further sanctions against Russia as a reaction to, as the European Council put it, “the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.” :

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If the Western states stick to their pronouncements of the past few days, the imposition of further sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine is only a matter of time. The EU has already announced a crisis summit for tonight (24 February 2022), which will lead to a massive tightening of yesterday’s sanctions for Russia’s recognition of independence of Ukrainian’s regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The current sanctions regime consists of two layers:

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BLOMSTEIN advises Chinese terminal operator COSCO Shipping Ports Limited (COSCO) on foreign direct investment aspects relating to its entry into the German market. COSCO is acquiring a minority stake of 35 % in Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) from the Port of Hamburg Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA). The deal is subject to various FDI and merger control clearances.

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BLOMSTEIN has successfully advised Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (Teva) on the German foreign direct investment aspects of its strategic licensing collaboration with MODAG GmbH (MODAG).

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A Comissão Europeia apresentou, em 17 de novembro de 2021, a “Proposta de regula-mento sobre produtos sem desmatamento” (Regulamento sobre Desmatamento ou Regulamento, cujos documentos relevantes podem ser encontrados aqui), com objetivo de evitar a comercialização em seu território de produtos associados a desmatamento ou degradação florestal. A lista de produtos é definida pelo art. 1º do Regulamento sobre Desmatamento, a saber: gado (seja o gado in natura, carne ou couro), cacau, café, óleo de palma, soja e madeira, bem como subprodutos, produtos que contenham ou que resultem dos mesmos (em conjunto, Produtos Relevantes). O Anexo I do Regulamento apresenta a lista exaustiva dos subprodutos e derivados sujeitos a suas regras.

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The European Commission has proposed on the 17th of November 2021 the “Proposal for a regulation on deforestation-free products” (Draft Deforestation Regulation, relevant documents here), a regulation to prevent the entrance into the European Union’s market of cattle (live cattle, meat and leather), cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya and wood and certain products that either contain or are made using these together Relevant Products), associated with deforestation and forest degradation. The Relevant Products are set out in Article 1 of the Draft Deforestation Regulation, while its Annex I list the full range of by-products that are subject to its rules.

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The common rules of origin and cumulation of the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean (PEM) Convention are a central instrument in the facilitation of trade and the integration of supply chains by way of preferential tariff treatment within the PEM zone, which stretches across the European Union to the other 24 contracting parties (EFTA countries, the Faroe Islands, Turkey and the Mediterranean countries of the Western Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East, including some of their neighbouring countries). The Contracting Parties have been negotiating a revision of the convention since 2012, in order for it to better reflect changing economic realities.

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