EU to ban Russian diamonds from start of 2024, to ban sale of tankers to Russia – EU sanctions proposal

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BRUSSELS, Nov 17 (Reuters) – The European Commission is proposing to ban imports of Russian diamonds and diamond jewellery from the start of 2024 as part of a new sanctions package to curb Russia’s ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine, a Commission proposal showed.

The proposal, under discussion by ambassadors of the EU’s 27 governments on Friday, also calls for an import, purchase and transfer ban on diamonds transiting Russia and Russian diamonds cut and polished in third countries, such as India.

The proposal said the ban applied to non-industrial natural and synthetic diamonds and diamond jewellery from January 2024. There would also be a progressive phase-in – from March 1 to Sept 1 – of an import ban of Russian diamonds when processed in third countries, including jewellery with Russian diamonds.

“This phasing-in of indirect import bans takes into consideration the need to deploy an appropriate traceability mechanism that enables effective enforcement measures and minimises disruptions for market players,” said the proposal, seen by Reuters.

EU to ban sale of tankers to Russia to curb shadow fleet growth

The European Commission is proposing to ban the sale of tankers for crude oil and petroleum products to Russia to prevent Moscow bypassing western sanctions on Russian oil with a shadow fleet of ships, a proposal by the Commission showed.

The proposal, discussed on Friday by ambassadors of EU governments, also says that sales of tankers to a third country should include contractual clauses that ships cannot be re-sold to Russia or used to carry Russian crude oil or petroleum products that avoid western price caps – in the case of crude oil of $60 per barrel.

“The price cap mechanism relies on an attestation process that enables operators in the supply chain of sea-borne Russian oil to demonstrate that it has been purchased at or below the price cap,” the Commission proposal, seen by Reuters, said.

“To further support the implementation of, and compliance with, this mechanism while increasing barriers to falsification of attestations, (the proposal) introduces a requirement for attestations to also include itemised ancillary costs, such as insurance and freight,” it said.

It said this information should be shared through the supply chain, with an appropriate transitional period.

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