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UK Sanctions on Russia: insurance and other services for Russian oil shipments

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United Kingdom

UK officials recently announced plans, in line with the G7 agreement on 2 September, to prohibit the provision of services related to the maritime transport of Russian oil and oil products from Russia to and between third countries. These services would include technical assistance, financial services – notably including insurance and re-insurance - and brokering services. The measure will also prohibit the shipping of Russian oil by UK ships.

This measure will build on the prohibition on the import of Russian oil and petroleum products into the UK from 31 December 2022 and the similar EU prohibitions on imports and on services for Russian oil shipments to third countries.

The G7 also agreed on 2 September to finalise and implement a price cap exception to the maritime services prohibition. In the UK, this exception will be delivered through a General Licence, underpinned by an “attestation model”, which those making use of the licence will be required to follow. Detailed guidance will be published alongside the General Licence to support UK firms in implementing the prohibition. The attestation model will be tiered, in line with the proximity of UK persons to the price information for the oil slash oil product. The UK is working closely with the US, EU and G7 partners to align their respective measures to reduce the compliance burden on industry.

The attestation model will have three tiers:

  • Tier One actors: those who regularly have direct access to price information in the ordinary course of business, such as commodities brokers and refiners, should retain and share as  needed documents that show that seaborne Russian oil was purchased at or below the price cap. Such documentation may include invoices, contracts, or receipts/proof of accounts payable;
  • Tier Two actors: those who are sometimes able to request and receive price information from their customers in the ordinary course of business, such as financial institutions, should when practicable request, retain and share as needed documents that show that seaborne Russian oil was purchased at or below the price cap. When not practical to request and receive such information, actors should request customer attestations in which the customer commits to not purchase seaborne Russian oil above the price cap;
  • Tier Three actors: those who do not regularly have direct access to price information in the ordinary course of business, such as insurers and protection and indemnity clubs, should obtain and retain customer attestations in which the customer commits to not purchase seaborne Russian oil above the price cap, for example as part of their annual insurance policy renewal process or updates to their insurance policy to comply with the price cap. Insurers may request attestations from customers that cover the entire period of policy is in place, for example for the entire length of an annual policy, rather than request separate attestations for each shipment.
 
The exact timing of the introduction of these measures is unclear and will depend on further progress in ongoing consultations between the G7 and oil importing countries on the operation of the price cap. But they are expected to come into force before the end of the year.
 
OUR TEAM
 
Fieldfisher's experienced multi-disciplinary sanctions and export control team includes lawyers who have negotiated and drafted EU and UN sanctions regimes in Government and regularly sanctions advice to businesses operating around the world in a wide variety of sectors.  We work closely with US partners to provide coordinated, comprehensive and practical advice to help business understand and manage the impact of sanctions.  For more information please contact International Trade Partner, Andrew Hood.
 
* The contents of this notice do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only.
 

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International Trade