Seeking to ratchet up pressure on the Russian government of Vladimir Putin, yesterday, the United States and the European Union widened the scope of sanctions on a number of Russian billionaires and companies in retaliation for Moscow’s recent provocations in Ukraine. Targets of the latest sanctions include 17 banks, energy companies, investment accounts and other firms controlled by four wealthy oligarchs considered to be close financial associates of the Russian president (a complete list of individuals and entities sanctioned is available here).
In an unreported development concerning retaliations aimed at Russia, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) last week issued a directive specifying that goods originating from Crimea are henceforward to be marked as products of Ukraine.
According to the CBP, “Goods which are the growth, product, or manufacture of Crimea and other areas of Ukraine should be marked as “Product of Ukraine” or “Made in Ukraine”. If the container of the imported good is marked, it may be marked, “Contents made in Ukraine” or words similar in meaning.”
Articles not compliant with the new guidelines will be subject to additional duties of 10%, or can be destroyed or exported under CBP supervision.
It should be noted that Ukraine is the United States’ 75th largest supplier of imports with goods totalling about $1.5 billion. Of that amount, exports from the Crimea region would account for a small portion – mostly consisting of dyes, pigments and semi-finished iron and steel mill products.