Trade sanctions—an introduction
Produced in partnership with Richard Tauwhare of Dechert LLP
Trade sanctions—an introduction

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Richard Tauwhare of Dechert LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trade sanctions—an introduction
  • What are trade sanctions?
  • Who decides on the imposition of trade sanctions?
  • To whom do EU trade sanctions apply?
  • How are trade sanctions administered?
  • How are trade sanctions enforced and what are the penalties?
  • How do companies comply with trade sanctions?
  • What is the state of mind required to prove a criminal breach of trade sanctions?

BREXIT: As of exit day (31 January 2020), the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Notes: Brexit—introduction to the Withdrawal Agreement, Development of sanctions regime in the UK post Brexit—timeline and Impact of Brexit on export controls.

What are trade sanctions?

Trade sanctions are measures which impose either a prohibition or a licensing requirement on the sale, supply, transfer, export or import of specified items (goods, software, technology, related technical assistance, services and financing) to or from a specified country. They typically target:

  1. military items (in the UK, this is interpreted as everything on the UK Military List. The UK Military list of items that require export authorisation)

  2. items that might be used for internal repression (the items are specified in an annex to the relevant EU Regulation and differ between sanctions regimes)

  3. dual-use items (some or all items on the Dual-Use List)

  4. raw materials (e.g. oil, metals), energy-sector equipment or other specific items judged to have particular significance for the economy and the leadership of the target country

  5. valuable or luxury items (eg gold, diamonds)

Who decides