Norway has adopted the European Union’s sixth sanctions package, intended to block the sale and export of Russian oil.

The provisions include a ban on the purchase and import of Russian crude — with some exceptions — and the provision of related financial, insurance and other services supporting its export.

The measures explicitly prohibit insuring and financing maritime transport carrying Russian oil to third countries outside the EU.

In a note to clients, Norwegian law firm Wikborg Rein said: “There are some exceptions, for example relating to prior contracts and services strictly necessary for the exercise of the right of defence in judicial proceedings.”

Wikborg Rein said Norway adopted the EU sanctions on 17 June.

Norway is not part of the EU, but it is a member of the European Economic Area.

Its adoption of the measures is significant, because Norway is a major provider of marine insurance services.

Leading insurance companies Gard and Skuld provide protection and indemnity and other marine and energy-related cover. The Norwegian Hull Club is a major provider of hull and machinery cover.

The UK, another major marine insurance provider through the London market, is expected to announce a package of similar measures.

The EU is still consulting the marine insurance industry on the scheduling of the measures.

The sanctions allow for some Russian oil exports to the EU until the end of the year, making the immediate application of the insurance ban difficult.

US concerns

The US has also hinted that the EU insurance sanctions could be counterproductive if they raise the price of oil and increase Russian oil revenue and its ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine.

Washington is reportedly applying pressure on Brussels to water down its measures.

The Russian state has also said it will provide financial guarantees to cover its oil exports if an insurance ban is imposed.