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European Commission issues opinion on ownership and control issues

Recently, the European Commission was asked for an opinion on a variety of ownership and control issues related to Council Regulation (EU) 269/2014 (back then, the date was after the regulation number), which is a Ukraine territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence sanctions measure.

Here’s the conclusions section:


In light of the above, the Commission takes the view that:

(1) It is the competence of the NCA to determine, taking into account all the elements at their disposal and the specific circumstances of the case, whether the designated person has control over the Entity.

If control by the designated person over the Entity is established, then:

(2) The assets of the Entity must be frozen. The Entity may obtain the lifting of the freeze on some or all of its assets by showing that they are in fact not “controlled” by the designated person. The way to do so depends on national rules. NCAs should make the conclusions regarding the existence of such control public.

The information-sharing obligations provided for in Articles 8 and 12 of the Regulation are applicable to the case at hand. The Commission stands ready to support Member States in complying with these obligations under the Regulation.

(3) Making funds available to the Entity (for instance through payments to any of its bank accounts) is prohibited, unless authorised by the NCA pursuant to one of the derogations provided for in the Regulation or unless it is reasonably determined that the funds will not be made available to the designated person. EU banks may credit frozen accounts insofar as the incoming funds are also then frozen.

Making payments from frozen bank accounts of the Entity is prohibited, unless authorised by the NCA pursuant to one of the derogations provided for in the Regulation. Payments from non-frozen accounts of the Entity are allowed.

(4) Providing services to or working for the Entity can be considered as making economic resources indirectly available to the designated person, insofar as it enables the latter to obtain funds, goods, or services. It is for the NCA to make such an assessment.

In addition,

(5) The applicability of the derogation laid down in Article 4(1)(c) of the Regulation is limited to fees or services charges that would ensure the routine holding of existing frozen funds.


European Commission Opinion

Council Regulation (EU) 269/2014

Categories: EU Updates Guidance


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