Romania – fine and confiscation overturned

The Romanian company Liberty Galati has successfully overturned an administrative fine and the confiscation of over 7.6 million lei (c. €1.5m).

The alleged breach of EU sanctions related to a shipment of iron ore pellets which left Russian on 22 February 2022, and arrived in Romania on 25 February 2022.  The seller of the pellets was Metalloinvest, which is owned or controlled by Alisher Usmanov who was designated on 28 February 2022. The pellets were on-sold in Romania on 1 March 2022.

The initial fine and confiscation was based on the allegation that it was a breach of the EU’s sanctions to deal with Metalloinvest in this way. The court disagreed and held that Liberty Galati had taken title to the pellets on 22 February at a time that Metalloinvest was not subject to sanctions.

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