On March 28, 2023, the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation issued a new general license under Regulation 64 of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 to address Bonds with Bondholders who may be Designated Persons. OFSI issued General License INT/2023/2824812 to enable Bond issuers to engage in transactions that carry out the terms of any Bond amendment or restructuring with Bondholders, provided that the restructuring or amendment i) makes no funds or economic resources available to or for the benefit of a Designated Person and ii) freezes or otherwise withholds any funds or economic resources that a Designated Person would have been entitled to if the Person had not been designated. The general license also enables UK Persons to take any steps necessary to effect Bond restructurings or amendments that adhere to these requirements.
General License INT/2023/2824812 also requires any issuer that utilizes this license to provide the HM Treasury with details of the transaction, in writing, within 14 days of completing the transaction, including an explanation of steps taken to ensure that Designated Persons will have no access to Bond funds or economic resources. The license also requires any Persons that utilize the license to keep accurate, complete and readable records regarding activity that was purportedly permitted under this license for a minimum of 6 years.