Poland introduced its own sanctions against Russia and Belarus effective 16 April 2022. These include: (i) prohibition of import and transit of coal originating from Russia and Belarus, and (ii) creation of Poland-specific list of designated parties subject to measures not covered by EU Regulations 765/2014 and 269/2014.

New sanctions legislation

Poland’s Act on special measures preventing support for the aggression against Ukraine and relative to national security protection was announced on 15 April 2022, and became effective 16 April 2022. The Act introduces financial and criminal penalties for violation of EU Regulations 765/2006, 269/2014, 833/2014 and 2022/263, as well as additional, Poland-specific measures.

Coal ban

The new Act prohibits any import into Poland, and transit through the territory of Poland, of coal (goods classified under CN codes 2701 and 2704) originating from Russia and Belarus.

As a result of the ban, the law also imposes certain additional obligations on entrepreneurs importing and transiting coal, in particular documentary burdens relative to proving the country of origin and the dates of import or transit.

List of designated parties

Under the new Act, the Polish Minister of the Interior and Administration will be authorized to maintain a list of designated persons and entities. The decision to include a person or an entity on the list will be issued with respect to such persons or entities who hold funds, financial resources and economic resources (within the meaning of EU Regulations 765/2006 and 269/2014), directly or indirectly supporting:

  1. aggression of Russia against Ukraine; or
  2. serious violations of human rights or repression against civil society and the democratic opposition, or whose activities constitute other serious threat to democracy or the rule of law in Russia or Belarus;

or directly related to such persons or entities, in particular due to personal, organizational, economic or financial connections, or with respect to whom it is probable that such of their financial resources, funds or economic resources will be used for this purpose. 

With respect to persons and entities entered on the list, the following measures may be applied:

  1. measures specified in Articles 2(1)-(3) of the Regulation 765/2006 (that includes complete freeze of funds and economic resources, ban to provide, directly or indirectly, and funds or economic resources, ban to participate in any activities the object or effect of which is to circumvent the measures);
  2. measures specified in Article 2 and Article 9 of the Regulation 269/2014 (in essence same as above);
  3. exclusion from the from public procurement procedures or competitions conducted under the Polish Public Procurement Law;
  4. entry on the list of foreigners whose stay in Poland is undesirable under the Polish Foreigners Act.

The scope of the applied measures may not duplicate the scope of measures specified in relation to these persons and entities included on the lists contained in EU Regulations 765/2006 and 269/2014.

The list of designated persons and entities was published on the 26th of April and can be found here.

Polish sanctions vs. EU sanctions

EU sanctions are directly applicable in Poland. New Polish sanctions: (i) authorized designation of individuals and entities not subject to EU sanctions, and (ii) authorized introduction of measures not covered by EU sanctions (such as exclusion from public tenders, entry ban, and deportation).

Other changes

The Act further regulates, in particular, the following matters:

  • prohibition of the use and promotion of symbols or names supporting the aggression of Russia against Ukraine;
  • penalties for not complying with the sanctions established in the Act; 
  • measures implementing EU Regulations 765/2006, 833/2014 and 269/2014, including criminal and financial penalties for non-compliance.

Piotr heads Baker McKenzie’s International Trade Practice in Poland. He is a counsel in the International Commercial & Trade and Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Groups, and a member of the Investigations, Compliance and Ethics practice. Educated in Poland and France, he has worked in the Firm's offices in Warsaw, Chicago, and London, as well as at a Munich-based client, and advised on commercial, trade, corporate/M&A and compliance mandates. He is admitted to practice in Poland and California.