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UK & Europe
On 8 March 2022, the UK introduced new sanctions preventing Russian companies in the aviation and/or space industries from accessing the UK insurance and reinsurance market directly or indirectly. Initially announced on 3 March 2022, the measures seek to “further tighten the growing economic pressure on Russia” and to ensure that the UK is “in line with sanctions imposed by [its] allies.”
The New Aviation Insurance Restrictions
The new reg 29A of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 prohibits the provision, directly or indirectly, of "insurance or reinsurance services relating to aviation and space goods or aviation and space technology" to a "person connected with Russia" or "for use in Russia".
Existing export control provisions contained in reg 28 have been updated to also restrict the provision of insurance or reinsurance in pursuance of or in connection with an arrangement whose object or effect is the export, supply, delivery, making available or transfer of specified ‘aviation and space’ goods and technology, where the insurance or reinsurance is being provided to a "person connected with Russia" or the goods/technology are being provided to "person connected with Russia" or for use in Russia.
Corresponding General Trade Licence
On the same day reg 28 was expanded and reg 29A was enacted by The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 6) Regulations 2022, the UK Department for International Trade issued a corresponding General Trade Licence which authorises, until 28 March 2022, the provision of certain (re)insurance services otherwise prohibited by virtue of the amended reg 28. The General Licence does not extend to reg 29A, which, in certain contexts, is broader in scope than reg 28.
Comparison with EU equivalent sanctions
The text of reg 29A closely resembles a prohibition enacted by the EU on 25 February 2022. Article 3c(2) of Council Regulation (EU) 833/2014 (as amended) provides that:
"It shall be prohibited to provide insurance and reinsurance, directly or indirectly, in relation to goods and technology listed in Annex XI to any person, entity or body in Russia or for use in Russia."
Despite the similarities in the text of the UK and EU prohibitions, it remains to be seen whether they will diverge in scope by virtue of the manner in which they are interpreted respectively under UK and EU law.