A major concern in the arbitration community over the last few months has been the interpretation of Art 5 aa of Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 (as amended on March 15 2022, cf Council Regulation (EU) 2022/428) concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine), and the related question of its impact on arbitration proceedings with sanctioned parties. VIAC shared these concerns. Together with our colleagues at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), the Arbitration Institute of Finland Chamber of Commerce (FAI), the Milano Chamber of Arbitration (CAM), the German Arbitration Institute (DIS) and the Swiss Arbitration Centre, we highlighted these issues to the legislator. 

Yesterday the Council of the European Union passed its “maintenance and alignment” package, which introduced a number of clarifications to existing measures. Pursuant to Art. 5aa para 3 (g) of Regulation (EU) No 833/2014, the prohibition in paragraph 1 shall not apply to: 

“transactions which are strictly necessary to ensure access to judicial, administrative or arbitral proceedings in a Member State, as well as for the recognition or enforcement of a judgment or an arbitration award rendered in a Member State and if such transactions are consistent with the objectives of this Regulation and Regulation (EU) No 269/2014.” 

The full text is available here: Official Journal of the European Union, Volume 65 

If you have further questions regarding the conduct of proceedings with sanctioned participants, please do not hesitate to contact VIAC (office@viac.eu) for further information. We are always happy to help. 

For more information, find our joint statement here.