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Government Fine Company £1million In Breach Of Russian Sanctions

What has happened?

In August 2023, the UK government fined a company £1 million for breaching Russian sanctions.

A Notice to Exporters was published on 22nd August explaining that the UK company was in breach of The Russian (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The Notice also reiterated the UK government's commitment to sanctions enforcement and that breaches are punishable through large penalties or criminal prosecution. 

This Notice should be taken as a warning to firms to ensure sanctions controls are strong and robust.

What are the key points of the Notice?

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK put in place an unprecedented package of sanctions aimed at cutting off funding, inflicting economic cost at scale and showing solidarity and support for Ukraine. To date the UK has sanctioned over 1,600 individuals and entities, including 29 banks with global assets worth £1 trillion, 129 oligarchs with a combined net worth of over £145 billion, and 96% (over £20bn) of UK-Russia trade.

Non-compliance with sanctions is a serious offence and is punishable by large financial penalties or criminal prosecution.

On 13 March 2023, the Prime Minister announced a new Economic Deterrence Initiative (EDI) which will tackle evasion across the UK’s trade, transport and financial sanctions. An additional £50 million in funding will be available to improve the enforcement of the UK’s sanctions regime.
Additionally, the new G7 Enforcement Co-ordination Mechanism, announced in the February G7 Leaders statement, will enable the international community to tackle sanctions enforcement together.

How can we help you?

Thistle Initiatives has supported firms for over 10 years as a trusted financial crime compliance and regulatory advisor. In addition to assisting you as-and-when, our team of specialists can serve as your right hand in meeting and complying with regulations. We understand the importance of staying up-to-date and compliant and are dedicated to providing the guidance and support needed to do so.

Our Financial Crime Team has supported clients with proactive sanctions screening assurance and reactive investigations. This provides our clients with the comfort that their sanctions tools and processes are robust or ensures they have tackled any issues and have a sufficient remediation plan in place.

Are you looking for help with your sanctions screening arrangements, or more general regulatory questions? Contact our specialist financial crime team now to schedule a free consultation. Get in touch with us by calling 0207 436 0630 or send an email to