Is your business affected by sanctions? | Fieldfisher
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Is your business affected by sanctions?

Andrew Hood


United Kingdom

Unfortunately, the situation in Ukraine is unlikely to end any time soon, and in the meantime sanctions will remain in place to keep pressure on Russia.

Regardless of where you may be physically, you're still bound by the legal aspects of the sanctions of the country whose nationality you hold, where your company is incorporated or where you're undertaking your work.
Russian sanctions are far-reaching and – among other things – can affect who you do business with; where you do business; what services you can offer; the types of goods you can import or export; or whether/how you can transfer money. 
Penalties for breaching sanctions laws can be severe, and are also growing, so there's a financial risk as well as reputational one.
Many are practical, everyday things to consider, as well as considering your ongoing business relationships in the longer term.
Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have business in Russia, Belarus or a Ukrainian independent region?
  • Do I fall under EU, UK, US (or other) jurisdiction?
  • Are my business activities covered by the scope of the sanctions?
  • Are any business partners sanctioned parties?
  • Do I receive/make payment to/from Russia?
  • What is my financial risk?
  • How flexible is my business? Can I address/manage impact?
  • What are my contractual obligations/rights – use of MAC, force majeure, sanctions clauses?
  • Have I got the right procedures/policies/training in place for the future?
Andrew Hood, partner at Fieldfisher, says: "There are fundamental things to consider for anyone whose business may be impacted by sanctions. Identify where asset freezes apply – these could be in your secondary markets as well as primary ones. Understand who does what in your business and where your areas of exposure are. Review your contracts for your rights and obligations.  Finally, make sure you have a good compliance regime in place and that it's fit for purpose – if anything goes wrong you'll want to be able to show evidence that you've historically complied with relevant policies and demonstrated due diligence. This will reduce risk and may impact any penalties imposed."