As the Brexit transition ends, the UK has ushered in its own regime for sanctions and money laundering. We kick the tyres
Upon the end of the Brexit transition period at 11pm on 31 December 2020, the UK ceased to implement EU sanctions. UK sanctions are now in force under the UK’s domestic sanctions regime, the framework for which is contained in the Sanctions and Money Laundering Act 2018 (“SAMLA”). The UK has introduced regulations under SAMLA which implement UK versions of the EU sanctions regimes that were in force pre-Brexit, although the new UK sanctions are not identical to the EU sanctions in all respects. Given the non-identical nature of the UK and EU regimes, there is the potential for an increased compliance burden to be placed on companies which are required to comply with both sets of sanctions. Businesses which are subject to the new UK regime should therefore ensure that they understand how these sanctions apply to them, and the extent to which they may differ from the previous EU-derived regime.
This briefing provides: an overview of the new UK SAMLA regime; the key differences between the UK and EU regimes, including a closer look at the Russian sanctions and blocking regimes imposed by both the UK and EU; indications on how the UK regime may evolve over time, and the extent to which it may diverge from the EU further; and practical compliance steps for businesses that need to navigate the new UK regime.