International Trade Policies

Access to markets affects business decisions.  When it comes to Crimea and Palestine, various international trade policies affect the import and export of goods and services to and from these occupied lands.  Below you will find links to major international trade policies affecting access to and from markets in these regions.

Crimea

Due to the Russian occupation of Crimea in March, 2014, the United States, European Union and other countries have imposed economic sanctions on commercial operations involving Crimean territory, entities and individuals. In addition, there are sanctions that primarily target businesses and individuals with close ties to the current Russian administration. 

Below are links to the major sanctions:

United States:

Executive Order 13360 (March 6th, 2014): The United States government imposes sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the annexation of Crimea.  

Executive Order 13361 (March 17th, 2014): The United States government imposes further restrictions on Russian individuals and entities involved in the annexation of Crimea.  

Executive Order 13362 (March 20th, 2014): The United States government imposes more sanctions on Russian individuals and entities involved in the annexation of Crimea.  

Executive Order 13685 (December 19th, 2014): The United States government imposes a full financial ban prohibiting U.S. persons and entities from new investment, performing transactions, exchanging goods, services and/or technology with the region of Crimea.

Crimea Sanctions Advisory (July 30th, 2015): The United States government issued this Advisory to highlight some of the practices that have been used to circumvent or evade US sanctions involving Crimea.

European Union:

European Union sanctions are imposed pursuant to the EU’s autonomous Common Foreign and Security Policy powers.

Council of the European Union Conclusions on Ukraine (February 20th, 2014): The EU imposes restrictions in form of asset freeze and visa ban against those responsible for violence in Ukraine. 

The Council of the European Union Sanctions on entities and individuals (March 17th, 2014): The EU releases a list of sanctioned individuals and entities in relation to the annexation of Crimea. 

EU extends list of banned individuals on the following dates:

March 21st, 2014

April 29th, 2014

July 11th, 2014

July 25th, 2014

November 28th, 2014

Council of the European Union adaptation of trade restrictions (July 31st, 2014): The EU adopts a ban on new investment in selected sectors in Crimea and Sevastopol. 

Council of the European Union adaptation of additional trade restrictions (December 18th, 2014): The EU imposes a ban on conducting business in Crimea and Sevastopol. Explicit sectors and types of businesses mentioned. 

Council of European Union Decision (CFSP) 2015/971: The EU amends Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP, extending sanctions for a further six months.

Other Countries:

Ukraine:

Since the beginning of the crisis, Ukraine imposed sanctions on certain Russian personnel, as well as a blockade on Crimea.

Sanctions on Russia 
Blockade on Crimea 

Canada:

Canada imposed sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the annexation of Crimea. 

Australia:

Australia imposes sanctions that are similar to those imposed by the European Union. 

Japan:

Japan joins EU and U.S. in imposing sanctions on Russia following its occupation of Crimea.  

Norway:

Norway joins the EU and US in imposing sanctions on Russia following its occupation of Crimea. Click here for the most recent updates.

Switzerland:

Switzerland did not join the EU sanctions. However, it has imposed a number of measures to avoid undermining the EU sanctions. Click here for an outline of recent amendments in English with links to the full texts in German and French.


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Palestine

There are currently no economic sanctions in relation to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.  There are a number of bi- and multi-lateral trade agreements that govern the import and export of goods to and from Palestine.  The occupation complicates the realization of these trade agreements, as the Palestinians do not control their borders.  Imports and exports are largely controlled by Israeli regulations.  As a result, different countries have taken different approaches to recognizing Palestine as a trade partner while accounting for Israel’s involvement in the process. 

US – Israel Free Trade Agreement (1985): The US trade agreement with Palestine is actually part of the US Free Trade Agreement with Israel.  In 1996, the US signed a Declaration of Free Trade between the US and West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, it became obvious that its successful implementation depended upon Israel’s agency.  The declaration was thus incorporated into the US-Israel agreement. 

Canada – Israel Free Trade Agreement (1997):  After signing the Framework on Economic Cooperation and Trade Between Palestine and Canada, the sides acknowledged that its successful implementation depended upon Israel’s agency.  Therefore, the framework was incorporated into the Canada – Israel Free Trade Agreement. 

Euro-Mediterranean Interim Association Agreement (July 1997): The EU concluded an agreement that provides preferential treatment to goods and services imported from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Unlike the US, the EU concluded a separate agreement with Israel. 

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement with Israel (2000): The EU agreement with Israel, unlike the US agreement, exclusively covers trade benefits with Israel. 
 
Court of Justice of the European Union (2010): Implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement with Israel became controversial due to the court ruling that products manufactured in Israeli settlements should not receive the trade benefits specified in the agreement, as they did not originate in Israel. 

Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities (2013): Israeli settlements will no longer be eligible for grants or prizes from the EU. The guidelines demonstrate restrictions on financial instruments provided to the settlements as well. 

The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - Paris Economic Protocol (1994): The agreement governs economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian authority that includes but is not limited to tax collection and exportation of Palestinian goods abroad. 

The Paris Economic Protocol is cited in the following trade agreements with Palestine. By using the Protocol, the signers attempt to address Israeli control of the Palestinian borders.

Free Trade Agreement With Egypt (1994)

Free Trade Agreement With Jordan (2000) 

The following multi-lateral trade agreements include Palestine:

Greater Arab Free Trade Area (1997)
Interim Agreement with EFTA States (1999
The Agadir Agreement (2001)  
Interim Agreement on Trade with Turkey (2004)  
Free Trade Agreement with MERCOSUR (2011) 


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