Ukraine-Russia Crisis: EU Guidelines and the new BAFA Code of Practice affect German export activities
Following the events on the Crimean Peninsula, both the European Union and Germany decided to take action and had implemented a number of restrictive measures against Russian and Ukrainian citizens by the end of March 2014. The travel restrictions imposed by the EU and the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain individuals seen as responsible for actions that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, have been put into effect. The list of natural or legal persons, entities or bodies has been amended several times, most recently in May 2014. In addition, the German government has decided to issue no further export licences for the delivery of armaments to Russia. Also, BAFA is currently taking more time than usual for licensing procedures for dual use goods. As the German Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel stated, the approval of those supplies was taking more time than usual since in the Ukraine crisis it would be essential to ensure dual-use goods are not used in the military sector. From a legal point of view, this last measure is unsatisfactory: in practice, German undertakings cannot currently deliver dual-use goods to Russia and at the same time, it is more difficult than usual to prove a case of force majeure as export licenses can theoretically still be issued.
Practice Group: International Trade