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EU Finally Criminalizes Violating And Circumventing Sanctions

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EU Finally Criminalizes Violating And Circumventing Sanctions

Abetting, aiding and facilitating these offenses may also be punishable.

Today, on April 12, the EU Council finally adopted a law establishing minimum rules for prosecution for violation or circumvention of EU sanctions in member states. As zn.ua writes, this is said in a statement by the press service of the EU Council.

Relevant actions are now considered criminal offenses in all EU countries, in particular, for example, helping to circumvent an entry ban, trading in sanctioned goods or prohibited financial activities. Abetting, aiding and facilitating these offenses may also be punishable.

It is noted that Member States must ensure that breaches of EU sanctions are subject to effective and proportionate criminal penalties, which vary depending on the offence. However, willful violation of sanctions should carry a maximum penalty of imprisonment. Violators of EU restrictive measures may face additional fines.

Legal entities (companies) can also be held liable if the offenses are committed by a person holding a senior position in the organization. In such cases, sanctions may include deprivation of business rights and revocation of permits and licenses to conduct economic activities.

The Directive will enter into force on the 20th day after publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Member states will have 12 months to incorporate the directive into their national legislation.

Restrictive measures are an important instrument of the EU's foreign and security policy. The states of the Union are responsible for their compliance.

The European Commission proposed this directive in December 2022 to limit circumvention of sanctions and strengthen their enforcement. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU introduced an unprecedented number of restrictive measures to weaken the Russian economic base and limit its ability to wage war.

It was reported that the EU began work on preparing the 14th package of sanctions against Russia. It plans to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to bypass the imposed restrictions to obtain profit and goods. The package should be adopted this spring.

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