Additional controls on movements of Russian Iron and Steel

We have received numerous enquiries regarding the above subject and have been liaising with the UK government on behalf of Members, who are stuck in the middle between their customers and this regulation. Quite correctly, Members have treated this subject with a considerable degree of caution.

Below is the official response that we have received from the Department for Business and Trade – which is in the public domain and can be shared with clients.

In certain ways, the information is helpful for Members, and it clearly places the primary responsibility on compliance with the regulations and holding the relevant records on the importers/exporters – your clients.  The most relevant points to note are:-

  • The guidance makes it clear that the client is the responsible party for controlling their own supply chain and that customs checks may be conducted at the frontier
  • No wording for confirmation of compliance to be included on any shipping documents is suggested within the guidance
  • The onus for compliance is placed on the trader and it is their responsibility to maintain the relevant records and make them available to government for inspection as required. In many ways, this is rather akin to the principle of “Importers Knowledge” It is emphasised that this documentation should be available to be presented at the frontier should a regulatory inspection occur.

Government has not provided any guidance on additional due diligence to be taken by freight forwarders and customs agents. In many ways it will be a tightening up of existing “Due diligence” procedures and potentially for Members to ask for written confirmation from their customer that goods are compliant with the current regulations. Areas for consideration are :-

  • Familiarisation with the relevant chapters of the tariff to identify tariff headings impacted by this guidance
  • Review how and ensure that current BIFA STCs are correctly incorporated in all contracts with your customer highlighting Clauses 17 (A)  and 20 (A)
  • Regarding the customs declaration, consideration must be given to only acting as a “Direct Customs Agent”

The additional procedure that should be considered is that the BIFA Member requests a written statement from their customer that the goods covered by the tariff headings in this guidance comply with the current regulations included below.

The verbatim guidance is replicated below if more information becomes available we will update Members as soon as possible.


Iron and Steel products
The UK’s policy is to apply financial pressure on Russia through sanctions. Our approach has been to include checks on relevant products regardless of manufacture as this ensures the most effective application of sanctions. You can find guidance on the measures, and guidance on how to demonstrate compliance here:
Limitations on exemptions and the inclusion of robust evidence requirements ensure these sanctions remain effective and meaningful.
Whilst we have no immediate plans to update the guidance, we will also continue to give considerations to businesses’ concerns and monitor the effectiveness of our trade sanctions on the Russian Federation.
Whilst the UK has worked closely with the EU on the development of these measures, the UK and EU will continue to legislate for, and operate, our separate sanctions regimes. Each country takes its own approach and has legal systems that work in different ways. As such, we are unable to comment on EU sanctions measures. Traders should carry out their own due diligence and seek independent legal advice if unsure.
The EU has published FAQs alongside its regulations that provide guidance on what goods are covered, and the requirements for compliance. These can be found using the links below:
• FAQ relating to Import, Purchase & Transfer Of Listed Goods:
• EU Sanction regulations:
If you have any further queries related to import sanctions, please do not hesitate to contact the import controls team via 
Please note that while ESS can advise on the relevant regulations needed for compliance, it is for the business to determine whether they are actually compliant. Our advice should not be taken in lieu of legally binding compliance decisions. If you are not sure, please seek legal advice.