Freezing of Russian Assets
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Assets Freezing 

On the basis of the Decree Law n. 109 of 22nd of  June 2007,  143 million euros of assets of Russian citizens included in the ‘black list’ of the European Union have been ‘frozen’. 

By “freezing” of economic resources it is meant “the prohibition, due to EU regulations and national legislation, of the transfer, disposal or, in order to obtain funds, goods or services in any way, use of economic resources, including, for example, the sale, lease, rental or establishment of real security rights “.

Field of application

The Decree sets out measures to “prevent the use of the financial system for the purpose of financing terrorism and financing the proliferation of mass destruction weapons “. It does not apply to commercial sanctions against third countries, including arms embargoes.

Financial Security Committee

The Financial Security Committee is set up within the Ministry of Economy and Finance, composed by 15 members and chaired by the Treasury General Director. The Committee – with the participation of a representative of the State Property Agency – “adopts all necessary actions in order to correctly apply the temporary freezing measures ordered by the United Nations, the European Union and the Minister of Economy and Finance“. It is the latter, on proposal of the Committee, that orders the freezing of funds and economic resources held, Including those  held through third parties, natural or legal persons, by natural, legal persons, groups or entities“. The freeze lasts six months, “renewable in the same forms if the conditions persist“.

Movements off limits

The ‘frozen’ assetsmay not be the subject of any act of transfer, disposal or use, in order to obtain funds, goods or services in any way“. And “it is forbidden to directly or indirectly make available   to the designated subject or allocate them to their advantage“. The freezing measure is effective from the day following the date of publication in the Official Gazette and “does not affect any eventual seizure or confiscation orders, adopted within a criminal or administrative proceedings, concerning the same funds or the same economic resources” .

Financial intelligence unit

The powers of the UIF for Italy, regulated by in force the provisions for the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering purposes, are extended “also for fighting against the financing of terrorism and proliferation of mass destruction weapons” . The UIF  “collects  financial information and data relating to the designated parties, funds and economic resources subject to freezing measures as well as the communication of the lists of designated parties and subsequent amendments“.

State property agency

The State Property Agency is in charge for the custody, administration and management of the frozen assets: if within a  criminal or administrative proceedings, seizure or confiscation measures concerning the same economic resources are adopted, for the management of the frozen assets is responsible the authority that ordered the seizure or confiscation “. In the event of amendment  from the lists or authorization for exemption from freezing measures, the Committee asks the Financial Police Special Currency Unit to notify to the entitled person: with the same communication, the latter is invited to take over the goods within 180 days. From the expiry of the freezing measures and until the delivery, the State Property Agency manages the economic resources.

Russian Guarantee citizens and companies rights protection

The respect of human rights must be guaranteed, providing the possibility of legal remedies and actions in order to obtain the unfreezing of the assets and the specific deletion from the lists;

The freezing must have an expiring date, concluding the procedure within a reasonable time either  with the confiscation of the property or with its return.

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