Ban on imports of flat glass from Belarus to tackle circumvention of Russian sanctions

Ban on imports of flat glass from Belarus to tackle circumvention of Russian sanctions

Glass for Europe welcomes the decision from the European Council to include flat glass products as part of the extension of the scope of sanctions on Belarus to fight circumvention. In a Regulation adopted on 29 June, the European Council has decided take further actions to prevent the circumventions of sanctions placed on Russia.

The import of float glass originating from Russia has been banned since the first round of economic sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine in 2022. However, since then, important flows of flat glass kept on entering the European Union via Belarus. Glass for Europe had already alerted the institutions of this situation in July 2023.

With this new decision – already entered into force – it is prohibited to purchase, import, or transfer into the European Union the list of following flat glass products if they originate in Belarus or are exported from Belarus:

  • Float glass and surface ground or polished glass, in sheets, whether or not having an absorbent, reflecting or non-reflecting layer, but not otherwise worked,
  • Safety glass, consisting of toughened (tempered) or laminated glass.

The package of sanctions also includes measures to allow EU operators to claim compensation from damages caused by Belarusian individuals and companies due to sanctions implementation and expropriation, provided that the member state national or company concerned does not have effective access to remedies, for example under the relevant bilateral investment treaty.

The Regulation also requires that EU exporters insert in their future contract the so-called ‘no-Belarus clause’, through which they contractually prohibit the re-exportation to Belarus or re-exportation for use in Belarus of sensitive goods.