UK Slaps New Sanctions On Russian Commodities

Law360, London (May 9, 2022, 12:13 PM BST) -- The government has added new sanctions on Russian goods and commodities, including higher tariffs on precious metals and key chemicals, in an attempt to "thwart" the Kremlin's ability to finance its war in Ukraine.

The new sanctions announced by the Department for International Trade on Sunday include a rise in import tariffs on £1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) worth of lucrative materials, including platinum and palladium, which will "face an additional 35 percentage point tariff." It added that legislation "will be laid in due course" to implement these measures. 

It has also slapped export bans on more than £250 million worth of goods in Russian sectors that rely heavily on British exports, such as chemicals, plastics, rubber and machinery.

This latest move takes the total value of products subject to full or partial import or export sanctions by the U.K. to more than £4 billion.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, international trade secretary, said the move will "thwart Putin's aims in Ukraine and undermine his illegal invasion, which has seen barbaric acts perpetrated against the Ukrainian people. This far-reaching package of sanctions will inflict further damage on the Russian war machine."

Excluding coal and energy, the new wave of sanctions will take the proportion of Russian import goods subject to sanctions to more than 96% in Britain, and over 60% of exports coming under whole or partial restrictions, according to the government.

The new package follows previous sanctions imposed on Moscow after its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Among previous measures, the U.K. froze the assets of Russia's largest banks and said it will end all imports of Russian coal and oil by the end of 2022. Whitehall also announced earlier this month that it will sever any Russian ties to Britain's professional services, meaning the country can no longer profit from lucrative management consulting, accounting and public relations services in the U.K.

Britain's bid to combat Russian aggression through non-military mirrors steps taken by the European Union.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced earliest this month the EU's sixth tranche of sanctions against Russia, These included plans to phase out Russia crude oil imports within six months and refined products by the end of the year. It follows a previous ban on Russian coal and marked a decisive shift in the bloc's thinking, which previously shied away from imposing an outright oil ban.

--Editing by Joe Millis.

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