Skip to main content

EU Restrictive Measures (Sanctions)

Background

The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was established by the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Within this framework, the EU may impose restrictive measures to further the objectives of the CFSP including

  • preserving peace, preventing conflicts and strengthening international security
  • promoting international cooperation
  • developing democracy, and
  • consolidating the rule of law, human rights and the principles of international law.[i]

Being external policy tools, restrictive measures (sanctions) target non-EU countries i.e., third countries. There are forty different non-punitive sanctions regimes in the EU which are being imposed whenever necessary, to alter the foreign policies of third countries when the objectives of the CFSP are at risk.

Types of Restrictive Measures

The EU applies different types of restrictive measures namely

  • arms embargoes
  • restrictions on admission (travel ban)
  • asset freezes, and
  • other economic and financial measures.

Scope of Application and Jurisdiction

EU restrictive measures are only applicable within EU jurisdiction. EU nationals or persons located in the EU or doing business therein are obliged to comply with these measures. More specifically, Article 49 of Council Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran defines the scope of application of the Regulation as it points out:ypyp

“This Regulation shall apply

  1. within the territory of the Union, including its airspace;
  2. on board any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of a Member State;
  3. to any person inside or outside the territory of the Union who is a national of a Member State;
  4. to any legal person, entity or body, inside or outside the territory of the Union, which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State;
  5. to any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the Union.”[ii]

EU SMEs are obliged to comply with EU restrictive measures. The Due Diligence Helpdesk on EU Sanctions for EU SMEs dealing with Iran, by carrying out proper due diligence supports them to assess their compliance with those measures. If you’re an EU SME intending to do legitimate business with Iran, you can submit your enquiries via the Sanctions DD Analysis tool.

 

[i] The Treaty on European Union (TEU)

[ii] Council Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 of 23 March 2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Regulation (EU) No 961/2010