Home OrganisationsEuropean Union Sanctions update: The European Union has today published Council Regulation (EU) No 208/2014

Sanctions update: The European Union has today published Council Regulation (EU) No 208/2014

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The European Union has today published Council Regulation (EU) No 208/2014

6 March 2014

The European Union has today published Council Regulation (EU) No 208/2014, concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine

The European Union has today published Council Regulation (EU) No 208/2014, concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine. Regulation 208/2014 imposes an asset freeze on all funds and economic resources belonging to, owned, held or controlled by designated persons/entities/or bodies. Consequently, all funds and economic resources belonging to, owned, held or controlled by any designated persons/entities or bodies shall be frozen and it is prohibited for any funds or economic resources to be made available, directly or indirectly to or for the benefit of those designated individuals/entities or bodies. The latter prohibition is subject to a limited exception that permits the crediting of frozen accounts by financial or credit institutions that receive funds transferred by third parties onto the account of a designated person/entity or body provided that any additions to those accounts will also be frozen and that the financial or credit institution informs the relevant competent authority about any such transaction without delay. Further exceptions apply in respect of payments into the frozen accounts of designated individuals/entities or bodies where those payments relate to (a) interest or other earnings on those accounts; (b) payments due under contracts/agreements/obligations that were concluded or arose before the date on which the designated occurred; or (c) payments due under legal decisions in a Member State or enforceable in the Member State. However, any and all such funds must also be frozen.

It is also expressly prohibited to participate knowingly and intentionally in activities whose object or effect is to circumvent the prohibitions outlined above.

As with previous asset freezes imposed by the European Union it is possible to derogate from the prohibitions in certain, specified circumstances, subject to authorisation from the competent authorities of Member States. The specified circumstances are where those funds are necessary to satisfy the basic needs of a designated person (to include payments for food, housing, medical needs), where the funds are used exclusively for the payment of reasonable professional fees/legal expenses, where the funds are used exclusively for the payment of fees or service charges for the routine holding or maintenance of the frozen funds/economic resources or where the funds are necessary for extraordinary expenses. This latter ground requires additional notification by the relevant competent authority to the competent authorities of the other Member States and the Commission.

Further derogations apply with respect to funds necessary to satisfy certain legal claims against a designated person/entity/body and in respect of payments due by designated persons/entities/bodies under contracts/agreements which were concluded by, or under an obligation that arose, prior to the date on which the designation occurred.

The designated persons/entities/or bodies are set out in Annex I and include Viktor Yanukovych together with other leading members of the former Ukrainian government including the former Prosecutor General, Head of Security Service, Minister of Justice and certain of their associates/relatives. While the recitals to the Regulation state that the designated persons/entities or bodies are those who have been identified by the Council as being responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian State funds and persons responsible for human rights violations in Ukraine and those individuals/entities or bodies associated with them, the statement of reasons provided in respect of all 18 designated individuals makes reference to the misappropriation of funds only.

The Regulation enters into force today,  6 March 2014.

A link to the regulation and Annex I can be found here.

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