Jersey acts in line with the UK on matters of foreign policy, and has implemented all UK sanctions deployed in response to Russia's actions. These are autonomous sanctions which are wide-ranging and include asset freezing designations which target persons both legal and natural with restrictions on assets and services.
Financial, trade, shipping and immigration sanctions have been imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
All persons (natural and legal) must comply with sanctions prohibitions, and all financial institutions have responsibility for monitoring and ensuring compliance with sanctions which are implemented in Jersey by the Minister for External Relations.
Government and the JFSC continue to engage with stakeholders during this period and is monitoring the situation closely. The JFSC has already published an initial update to their Russia guidance page.
We will continue to publish important updates on the Jersey Gazette and you should sign up for e-alerts.
Russia sanctions: guidance
Detailed guidance on the UK sanctions regime against Russia can be found on the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation's Russia guidance page.
Sanctions and restrictions
The UK has imposed sanctions on hundreds of new persons (legal and natural), including President Putin and Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. The measures included travel bans and asset freezes and will prevent those targeted from conducting business within the UK and Jersey.
All these restrictions apply in Jersey.
Russia sectoral measures
Sanctions that cover investment and financial restrictions on Russian companies include:
- measures to prevent Russian banks from clearing payments in sterling
- measures that prohibit transactions with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Russian Ministry of Finance and Russian National Wealth Fund
- prohibitions on securities and money-market instruments
- prohibitions on issuing loans and credit
- trade, aviation and shipping sanctions measures
- prohibitions on energy-related goods and related activity
Professional and business-related services
Regulation 54C of the UK Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the "UK Russia Regulations"), as implemented in Jersey, prohibits providing certain professional and business-related services
to Russia-connected persons. However, there is an exemption to enable the fulfilment of statutory and regulatory obligations in
respect of these prohibitions. The exemption is detailed in Regulation 60DA of the UK Russia Regulations.
The exemption under Regulation 60DA is also implemented in Jersey. Further guidance on these prohibitions and exemption can be found below.
Professional and business-related services: Exemption Guidance
Crypto assets are an economic resource, and as such are caught by Jersey's sanctions legislation. Attempting to circumvent sanctions using crypto assets is prohibited in the same way that it would be for any traditional fiat currency. Any reports of suspected non-compliance should be reported to the Minister in the same way.
Russian sanctions: can you sanction Crypto?
Any person who conducts a financial services business in Jersey, or any legal person incorporated or constituted under the law of Jersey that carries on such business in any part of the world, must report as soon as practicable if it has reasonable cause to believe that it holds an account, has entered into dealings or an agreement with, or been approached by or on behalf of a person who is a designated person or who has committed, is committing or intends to commit an offence under the Jersey sanctions legislation.
Reports must also include any information on any actions taken in compliance with obligations imposed under Article 37 of the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999 (under which the Money Laundering (Jersey) Order 2008 is made).
Sanctions Compliance Reporting Form
Assets reported and frozen
The Minister for External Relations remains committed to publishing the value of the assets reported to him as frozen under the Russia sanctions regime.
The following figure is accurate as of 31 January 2024 to the best of the Minister's knowledge at the time of publication:
- in line with the reporting obligations of financial institutions, 346 sanctions compliance reports have been submitted to the Minister in connection with the Russia sanctions regime
- the reports concern a number of issues relating to sanctions compliance, including, but not limited to, assets that have been frozen
- the reports of frozen assets received by the Minister totalled £1,384,100,000 (rounded up to the nearest £100,000)
Where reports have been received of assets frozen in currencies other than pounds, they have been converted. The value of assets reported as frozen in Jersey may fluctuate for numerous reasons, including changes to asset-freeze designations, further investigation to verify or clarify the value of assets, additional information being reported, or certain financial activity being licensed.
It is possible to apply for a licence to undertake certain activities that would otherwise be prohibited. Details are available on the sanctions licences and exceptions. However, the grounds available for making a licence application will vary depending on which activity you wish to undertake and therefore you are advised to consider taking independent legal advice before making a licence application.
The UK general licences issued by OFSI under the UK Russia regime cover various activities such as allowing financial institutions to wind down their positions in Russian banks.
UK General Licences made under the UK Russia regime apply automatically in Jersey for provisions in respect of non-asset-freeze only. Those provisions in relation to asset-freezing prohibitions do not apply; however, they may be considered as the basis for a licence application.
A recording of a webinar, jointly run by Jersey Financial Services Commission and the Government of Jersey is available online. Link provided below.
Joint risk statement to the financial services industry: Customer relationships associated with Russia and Belarus
Russian sanctions regime webinar
How sanctions are implemented
General sanctions information on the JFSC website