In December 2023, the EU passed a 12th Sanction Package targeting trade with the Russian Federation. The sanction package encompasses trade with Russian diamonds, which has gone into force as of 1 January 2024. Decision 2023/2874 has amended Decision 2014/512/CFSP on restrictive measures imposed as a result of Russia’s actions to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. The EU Council has also amended Regulation (EU) 833/2014 and Regulation (EU) 269/2014 through the new Regulation (EU) 2023/2878 and Regulation (EU) 2023/2875.

The latest sanction measure prohibits trade in all non-industrial natural and synthetic diamonds and diamond jewelry originating in Russia, exported from Russia, transiting through Russia, as well as Russian diamonds processed in third countries. From 1 March 2024 until 1 September 2024, an indirect import ban on Russian diamonds processed in third countries, including jewelry incorporating diamonds from Russia will be progressively phased in.

As of 1 January 2024, it is prohibited to directly or indirectly import, purchase or transfer diamonds and diamond products, which: (i) originate in Russia or have been exported from Russia into the EU or to any third country; or (ii) have transited via Russia (listed in Annex XXXVIIIA of the Regulation (EU) 833/2014). Also, as of 1 March 2024, it shall be prohibited to purchase, import, or transfer, directly or indirectly, diamonds and diamond products, processed in a third country and originating in Russia or exported from Russia (listed in Part A of Annex XXXVIIIA). In addition, as of 1 September 2024, it shall be prohibited to purchase, import, or transfer, directly or indirectly, products such as lab-grown diamonds, jewelry, and watches containing diamonds, when processed in a third country and originating in Russia or exported from Russia (as listed in Annex XXXVIIIA). All services associated with the trade of the diamond goods listed above, including financial, brokering, technical assistance, manufacture, maintenance, etc. are forbidden. The prohibitions do not apply to goods owned by individuals travelling to the EU and not intended for sale. Transfer or import of cultural goods which are on loan through formal cultural cooperation may also be allowed with official authorization.

The restrictive measures are part of a joint G7 Russian diamond ban, prohibiting all G7 member states from exporting Russian diamonds starting 1 January 2024. To implement these measures, a traceability-based verification and certification mechanism for rough diamonds is being established within the G7 countries. As of 1 September 2024, EU importers must provide a certificate verifying that diamonds have not been processed or produced in Russia.

Besides the above, the EU 12th Sanctions Package contains additional import bans on items which have the potential to generate significant revenue for Russia, such as copper wires, aluminum wires, foil, tubes and pipes as well as liquefied propane (LPG) (with a 12-month transitional period). Additional export bans on items, which contribute to Russia’s military and technological advancement, such as chemicals, lithium batteries, thermostats, have also been introduced along with some exceptions. A previous provision banning services has now been broadened to include the restriction of software for the management of enterprises and software for industrial design and manufacturing, subject to certain exemptions.

The latest EU sanction stipulations attempt to close previous loop holes that allowed parties to circumvent restrictions. For this reason, it is important for all companies, including those who do not deal directly with Russia, to conduct a thorough due diligence of their activities or seek professional legal advice if doing business with Russia or Russian goods and services.

Our series of articles on EU restrictive measures are provided for information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. For professional advice tailored to your particular case please contact us at: .