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Russian sanctions: Netherlands bans delivery of 12 in-build superyachts

7 April 2022 • by Miranda Blazeby

The Dutch government has stepped up Russian sanctions, targeting 14 superyachts in-build or under maintenance at 15 Dutch shipyards.

In a letter to parliament, minister of foreign affairs Wopke Hoekstra announced the formation of a new working group specifically targeting yachts.

As a result, the government said that 12 superyachts currently underway at five Dutch yards, which were commissioned by Russian ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs), cannot be delivered.

While the individuals are not named on the European Union’s sanctions lists, the yachts in question “may not be supplied, transferred or exported” due to “the current measures”, Hoekstra’s letter said.

One of these yachts is nearing completion and recently started sea trials. The shipyards have been informed of the restrictions and further investigation is underway on the ownership structures of these yachts, the Dutch government said.

There are also two yachts currently undergoing maintenance at Dutch yards, which have “been placed under stricter customs supervision”.  

The ownership structure of one of these yachts has been linked to “a person named on the European sanctions lists”, Hoekstra said and is now being investigated. The second yacht is “probably not” owned by a Russian or Belarusian owner but is potentially “unlicensed”, he said.

Hoekstra also said that one yard had been planning to undertake work on a yacht owned by a Russian UBO, but this work has now been cancelled.

The letter added that there are no Russian yachts currently at anchor in the Netherlands or overseas Dutch territories, including Aruba, Curaçao and Saint Maarten.