Reed Smith Client Alerts

The EU published new FAQs on 10 August 2022 which state that restrictions on coal products exported from Russia include a ban on their transport to third countries. Certain fertiliser products may also be ‘caught in the cross-fire’, contrary to the EU’s apparent intentions.

As part of the EU’s fifth sanctions package of 8 April 2022, restrictive measures were imposed under Article 3j(1) of Council Regulation (EU) 833/2014 on the purchase, import or transport of Annex XXII coal products. The restrictions state:

“(1) It shall be prohibited to purchase, import, or transfer, directly or indirectly, coal and other solid fossil fuels, as listed in Annex XXII into the Union if they originate in Russia or are exported from Russia.”

There are also similarly worded restrictions under Article 3i, which targets inter alia certain fertiliser products.

Given the reference to ‘into the Union’, it was widely interpreted that these restrictions only prohibited the purchase, import or transfer of Annex XXII coal products where they were destined for an EU Member State. Supportive of this was the distinction in drafting between Article 3j(1) and the restrictions under Article 3g(1) affecting iron and steel products, which contained separate restrictions on the transport of such goods to third countries (emphasis added):