Financial services providers, importers and exporters could face criminal charges for breaching EU restrictive measures

Providers of financial services such as loans and credit as well as importers and exporters who participate in activities sanctioned or otherwise prohibited or restricted by the European Union (EU) could face criminal charges if a proposal by the European Commission (EC) is adopted.

The commission says that while the Russian aggression on Ukraine is ongoing, it is paramount that EU restrictive measures are fully implemented and the violation of those measures must not be allowed to pay off.

The criminalisation of offences related to breaches of restrictions on financial services or import and export activity are part of a much wider proposal by the EC that also envisages new reinforced rules on the freezing, recovery and confiscation of assets, with the overarching purpose of making the violation of EU restrictive measures a crime in the union.

Financial services providers

Criminal offences, including incitement, aiding, abetting and attempt, could include making funds or economic resources available directly or indirectly, to, or for the benefit of, a designated person or entity according to the EC proposal.

Financial services providers could also face criminal charges for failing to freeze funds or economic resources belonging to or owned, held or controlled by a designated person or entity or engaging in prohibited financial activities, such as providing prohibited loans or credit.

Importers and exporters

Engaging in prohibited trade, commercial or other activities, such as importing or exporting goods and technology covered by trade bans, or providing prohibited services could also become criminal offences.

The proposal also contains a provision to oblige member states to take the necessary measures to ensure that inciting, aiding and abetting the commission of the criminal offences, as well as the attempt to commit such offences, are punishable as criminal offences.

More details on the EC’s proposed rules on freezing and confiscating assets of oligarchs and violating restrictive measures and of criminals as well as links to relevant documents can be found here.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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