CIPR welcomes inclusion of PR in new wave of Russian sanctions

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has welcomed the explicit inclusion of public relations services in the wave of sanctions against the Russian Federation announced yesterday by the UK government.

Following consultation with the CIPR The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 14) Regulations 2022’ was laid in Parliament yesterday under section 55(3) of the SAMLA (Sanctions and Money Laundering Act) 2018, and has come into force today. Under Regulation 60DA, it contains specific exceptions in relation to Professional and Business Services that effectively bans UK-based PR firms, along with accountants and management consultants, from providing any professional services to Russia-based clients. 

The legislation applies to any prospective new clients as well as to any existing clients that agencies already have. This law overrides any contracts agencies may have in place with Russian clients. 

Read the Statutory Guidance online.

Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive

The UK public relations industry has been criticised in recent years for the support it has given to Russian oligarchs and to Russian state interests. We are glad that the last loopholes have been closed on this and there can be no scope for such work from now on.

CIPR members must be clear that the sanctions apply not only to companies and individuals in Russia, but to Russian-registered firms operating in the UK and to Russian individuals domiciled or normally resident in the Russian Federation. Failure to comply with these sanctions means breaking the law, and it will also lead to professional misconduct proceedings against members apparently involved in any such work. It is the responsibility of members to know their customers and to undertake due diligence before taking any new clients on. 

We will continue to work with the UK government following the invasion of Ukraine to ensure that sanctions on our sector are timely, relevant and enforceable.

Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive

The CIPR has recently issued guidance to members via a new skills guide - 'Know your Client: How to confidently sign new clients with some simple checks'.


About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas with nearly 10,000 members.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).