Ukraine: Measures to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions

Bern, 02.04.2014 - On 2 April 2014, the Federal Council issued an ordinance on measures to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions connected with the situation in Ukraine. The measures come into force at 6 pm on 2 April 2014.

In its statement of 26 March 2014 on the situation in Ukraine, the Federal Council acknowledged the sanctions imposed by certain members of the international community. It decided that Switzerland would take the measures required to ensure that its national territory cannot be misused to circumvent the sanctions imposed by the international community.

The Federal Council decided on 2 April 2014 not to adopt the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU), but to take measures to prevent the circumvention of these sanctions in accordance with its statement of 26 March 2014.

With immediate effect, financial intermediaries based in Switzerland may no longer enter into new business relationships with the 33 private individuals named in the annex to the ordinance. The persons concerned are the same individuals who have been made subject to financial sanctions and travel restrictions in the EU. The Federal Council's intention in taking this measure is to prevent creating the perception that Switzerland's financial centre could benefit from the EU sanctions. The persons concerned are therefore not permitted to transfer to Switzerland assets that they hold outside the EU. A transfer of assets from the EU is not possible as such assets are already blocked as a result of the EU sanctions.

Existing business relationships involving the named individuals are not subject to this ban. However, such business relationships must be reported to SECO immediately, with details of the beneficiary, the nature of the business and the value. By means of this measure, the Federal Council aims to gain an overview of the business relationships that the persons concerned have in Switzerland and of the assets they hold here, so as to be able to decide on further measures if necessary. SECO will be monitoring developments in these business relationships.

The travel restrictions imposed by the EU on the same 33 private individuals also have an effect on Switzerland via the Schengen Association Agreement. Consequently, no special measures are needed to prevent the circumvention of these sanctions.

The Federal Council reserves the right to take further measures depending on how the situation develops. 

Address for enquiries

Antje Baertschi, Head of Communications, SECO,
Tel. 031 323 52 75

Marie Avet, Deputy Head of Communications,
SECO, Tel. 031 322 40 20


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs