UK issues new Russia sanctions criteria, relevant to BVI and Cayman Islands
On 10 February 2022, the United Kingdom published the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (2022 UK-Russia Amendments) which amends and strengthens the UK’s pre-existing Russia sanctions regime, under the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (2019 UK-Russia Regulations) formulated post Brexit but which still essentially focusses on the fall-out from the 2014 Russia-Ukraine-Crimea conflict.
The 2022 UK-Russia Amendments now broaden the categories of people and entities which are capable of being designated under the sanctions regime in the 2019 UK-Russia Regulations. No new designations have actually occurred and the motivation for the amendments is of course the current threat of invasion by Russia into Ukraine’s sovereign territory.
Of most relevance in terms of the new criteria is the coverage of “involved persons” which covers anyone perceived as involved in obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia and which includes:
(a) Carrying on business as a Government of Russia-affiliated entity
(b) Carrying on business of economic significance to the Government of Russia
(c) Carrying on business in a sector of strategic significance to the Government of Russia
(d) Owning or controlling directly or indirectly (within the meaning of regulation 7), or working as a director (whether executive or non-executive), trustee, or equivalent, of: (i) a Government of Russia-affiliated entity; (ii) a person, other than an individual, which falls within sub-paragraph (b) or (c)
The position in the British Overseas Territories (BOTs)
Following the introduction of the post-Brexit UK Sanctions and Anti Money Laundering Act 2018, the UK more closely oversees the role out of sanctions measures in the British Overseas Territories including Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.
In this regard the 2019 UK-Russia Regulations, as amended over time, were directly extended to designated BOTs, including Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands under the Russia (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2020.
As such changes to the 2019 UK-Russia Regulations under the 2022 UK-Russia Amendments are ‘directly effective’ in the BOTs as well.
The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 can be found here.
The Russia (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2020 can be found here.