Update on economic sanctions: increasing cooperation between arbitral institutions

Newsletter 11/2023 - Announcements


The economic sanctions imposed on Russia continue to be an issue of concern for international arbitration. The DIS continues to monitor regulatory developments in this area that could adversely affect DIS arbitrations and has strengthened its cooperation with a growing number of international arbitral institutions to address any concerns regarding the adverse regulatory impact of sanctions regimes before national and EU authorities.

In 2022, the DIS, together with other arbitral institutions (SCC, VIAC, FAI, CAM, and the Swiss Arbitration Centre), reached out to the EU Commission regarding arbitration regulations within the EU's 5th sanctions package. The DIS was pleased to note the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2022/1269, which includes an exemption for transactions that are essential for access to judicial, administrative or arbitral proceedings in a Member State and for the recognition or enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards in Member States.

In light of this positive outcome, the DIS together with this informal group of fellow arbitral institutions addressed the issue of the enforceability of awards in frozen assets in a joint statement to the European Commission on 10 January 2023 and recently, inter alia, to the Permanent Representatives of the Member States to the EU on 25 October 2023.

The joint statement of 25 October 2023 also conveyed the institutions’ concerns regarding draft EU legislation on the definition of criminal offences and penalties for violating Union restrictive measures, especially with regards to reporting requirements.

This joint cooperation among arbitral institutions has gained momentum over the past year and the DIS is pleased to report that the informal group of arbitral institutions jointly monitoring and addressing EU sanctions issues has grown.

The Permanent Arbitration Court at the Croatian Chamber of Economy (PAC CCE), the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI), the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (CEPANI), the Madrid International Arbitration Center (CIAM), and the Arbitration Court attached to the Czech Chamber of Commerce and the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic (CAC) have all joined the group. In addition, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has begun to participate in the group as an observer.

The DIS will continue to monitor developments in the area of economic sanctions with regard to their nature, scope and objectives and will provide information on any new developments here.

Carina Alcoberro Llivina

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