International Financial Sanctions

In the framework of the European Union’s common foreign and security policy, as well as at the international level (particularly by the United Nations Organisation), restrictive measures might be applied with an aim to change the political and/or military approach of a certain country or organization, to fight terrorism or modern threats such as cyber-attacks.

These restrictive measures have been extensively applied in the last decade and they are rather technical. Therefore, the interpretation of the extent of such measures and particularly the targeted entities sometimes proves to be extremely difficult. For example, in 2018, in regard to Iran, international actors took different approaches: while the United States prohibited the export of “sensitive technology” (hardware, software, telecommunications equipment or any other technology deemed to be so by the American authorities) to Iran, the European Union forbade EU companies “to obey the effects of the extra-territorial application of the sanctions imposed by the USA” and regulated the legal ground for companies to demand compensation for the damages they suffer by the imposing of these sanctions.

At Costaș, Negru & Avocații, lawyers have a wide knowledge on the system of financial sanctions applied at the European level and follow closely the restrictive measures in force for both companies and individuals [for example, sanctions applied under (EU) Regulation no. 269/2014 and the associated Guidelines to entities from the Russian Federation and Belarus].

The legal services provided are meant:

– to assist companies while performing the due diligence analysis required when doing business with companies or individuals from sanctioned countries or territories, including the purchase and import of goods that qualifiy for a sanctionatory regime;

– to assess companies’ risks as to the applicable financial sanctions;

– to entertain correspondance with the national competent authorities and other authorities at the European or international level;

– to assist interested parties in legal proceedings concerning financial sanctions.

For example, in association with Mr. Radu Călin Buda (Arad Bar Association), Costaș, Negru & Asociații successfully closed in 2022 a case concerning financial sanctions illegally applied to a company doing business on the fertilizers’ market. A complex defence based on the exhaustive analysis of the European framework for sanctions showed that the Romanian company was merely involved in a distribution chain on the fertilizers’ market and in no way connected to sanctioned entitities or trying to circumvent the sanctions. As a result, Romanian courts exonerated the company from the confiscation of some 1.5 million euros.