Joint answer given by Ms McGuinness on behalf of the European Commission
The import of Russian seaborne oil into the EU is prohibited since 5 December 2022 for crude oil and since 5 February 2023 for petroleum products.
For third countries, and as part of coordinated efforts with G7 partners, the EU implemented a price cap on transport and related services for EU companies of Russian seaborne crude oil on 5 December 2022. Another cap was introduced on 5 February 2023 on refined petroleum products such as diesel and fuel oil.
The Commission is aware of the activities involving Russian oil in the Strait of Gibraltar near Ceuta, in particular the increase of ship-to-ship transfers being carried out in international waters.
The Commission is monitoring closely circumvention of EU sanctions as ships are transferring oil at sea multiple times to hide its origin, and attempts are made to mask their movements by turning off satellite trackers or transmitting fake coordinates.
The Commission welcomes the recent actions by certain Member States competent authorities’ that curtailed and prohibited port access to vessels engaged in suspicious transhipments of Russian petroleum products.
It is working closely with national competent authorities on addressing circumvention risks, including with port authorities. The Commission is also reaching out to third countries to raise circumvention risks, notably with the support of the recently appointed EU Sanctions Envoy.
-  Article 3m and Annex XXV of Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 of 31 July 2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A02014R0833-20221204