Selection of sanctions, embargoes, restrictive measures and citations of respective descriptions
According to the Charter of the United Nations, Chapter VII, the Security Council of the UN can take enforcement measures to maintain or restore international peace and security. Measures can be economic sanctions or other sanctions not involving the use of armed force to international military action; they might include economic and trade sanctions or targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans, financial or diplomatic restrictions.
The use of mandatory sanctions is intended to apply pressure on a State or entity to comply with the objectives set by the Security Council without resorting to the use of force.
Detailed information on each sanctions committee, including relevant measures, lists, Committee Guidelines and comprehensive documentation, including official documents and Press Releases, is available on the United Nations website.
UN Security Council Sanctions Committees
The EU implements all sanctions imposed by the UN. In addition, the EU may reinforce UN sanctions by applying stricter and additional measures. Finally, where the EU deems it necessary, it may decide to impose autonomous sanctions.
EU Financial Sanctions
The European Union publishes the “Consolidated list of persons, groups and entities subject to EU financial sanctions”; these names are subject to Common Foreign & Security Policy (CFSP) related financial sanctions (freezing of funds or economic resources, prohibition on financial transactions, restrictions on export credits or investment).
This list is published by the European Commission and set up by the EU Credit Sector Federations (European Banking Federation, European Savings Banks Group, European Association of Co-operative Banks and European Association of Public Banks).
“EU sanctions apply within the jurisdiction (territory) of the EU; to EU nationals in any location; to companies and organisations incorporated under the law of a member state – including branches of EU companies in third countries; on board of aircrafts or vessels under member states´ jurisdiction”.
Consolidated list of persons, groups and entities subject to EU financial sanctions
Council Regulations concerning sanctions and restrictive measures are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Official Journal of the European Union
The Federal Act on the Implementation of International Sanctions (Embargo Act) forms the legal basis for the implementation of sanctions imposed by Switzerland. The Embargo Act is a framework legislation that regulates general matters (aim, scope of authority, duty of disclosure, supervision of compliance, data protection, administrative and legal assistance, rights of appeal, criminal provisions). Specific measures such as those taken in relation to a particular state or regime are issued in separate ordinances based on the Embargo Act. Prior to this Act coming into force, sanctions were based directly on provisions of the Federal Constitution (Art. 184 Abs.3). The Confederation may enact compulsory measures in order to implement sanctions that have been ordered by the United Nations Organisation (UN), by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) or by Switzerland’s most significant trading partners and which serve to secure compliance with international law, and in particular the respect of human rights.
The right is reserved for the Federal Council to take measures to safeguard the interests of the country in accordance with Article 184 paragraph 3 of the Federal Constitution. Compulsory measures may in particular:a) directly or indirectly restrict transactions involving goods and services, payment and capital transfers, and the movement of persons, as well as scientific, technological and cultural exchange, b)include prohibitions, licensing and reporting obligations as well as other restrictions of rights.
Implementation of ordinances of the Federal Council:
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
The Federal Council has the authority to enact compulsory measures. It may stipulate exceptions in order to support humanitarian activities or to safeguard Swiss interests. The Federal Council may stipulate exceptions in accordance with paragraph above, in particular for the provision of food supplies, medicines and therapeutic products for humanitarian purposes. The compulsory measures are enacted in the form of ordinances.
These ordinances on sanctions are implemented by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The names of individuals, legal entities, groups and companies affected are given in the annexes to the relevant ordinance. In addition to other sanctions, some ordinances (to be consulted case by case) also impose a duty to notify the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) about the financial assets of individuals, legal entities, organisations or groups affected and freeze any assets transferred or held in Switzerland belonging to them. Notifying SECO does not release a financial intermediary from the duty to notify the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland pursuant to Art. 9 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).
Overview of sanctions (SECO)
SECO list of sanctioned persons, entities and organizations
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
The Federal Council has the authority to enact compulsory measures. The compulsory measures are enacted in the form of ordinances.
These ordinances on sanctions are implemented by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and in some cases have been implemented by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland.
Examples are the ordinance of the Federal Council of the 2nd of February 2011 regarding measures against certain individuals from the Arab Republic of Egypt, modified with ordinance of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the 16th of February 2011 and subsequent dates, and the ordinance of the Federal Council of the 19th of January 2011 regarding measures against certain individuals from Tunisia, modified with ordinance of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the 28th of January 2011 and subsequent dates)
United States of America
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
The OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. OFAC acts under the President’s wartime and national emergency powers, as well as under authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze assets under U.S. jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.
All U.S. persons must comply with OFAC regulations, including all U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens regardless of where they are located, all persons and entities within the United States, all U.S. incorporated entities and their foreign branches. In the cases of certain programs, such as those regarding Cuba and North Korea, all foreign subsidiaries owned or controlled by U.S. companies also must comply. Certain programs also require foreign persons in possession of U.S. origin goods to comply.
Sanctions Programs and Country Information
OFAC SDN List
The Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list is a publication of the OFAC. As part of its enforcement efforts, OFAC publishes a list of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific. Such individuals and companies are called “Specially Designated Nationals” or “SDNs”; their assets are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.
Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN)
OFAC Consolidated Sanctions List – Consolidated Sanctions List Data Files
According to their own website “In order to make it easier to comply with OFAC’s sanctions regulations, the office is now offering all of its non-SDN sanctions lists (including Palestinian Legislative Council List “NS-PLC List”, the Part 561 List, the Non-SDN Iran Sanctions Act List “NS-ISA List”, the Foreign Sanctions Evaders List “FSE List”, the Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List “SSI List”, and the 13599 List) in a consolidated set of data files “the Consolidated Sanctions List”.”
OFAC Consolidated Sanctions List
Included in the OFAC Consolidated Sanctions List Data Files:
- Foreign Sanctions Evaders (FSE) List
- Sectoral Sanctions Identifications (SSI) List
- Palestinian Legislative Council (NS-PLC) list
- The List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561 (the Part 561 List)
- Non-SDN Iranian Sanctions Act (NS-ISA) List
- List of Persons Identified as Blocked Solely Pursuant to Executive Order 13599 (the 13599 List)
OFAC Foreign Sanctions Evaders (FSE) List
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury publishes a list of foreign individuals and entities determined to have violated, attempted to violate, conspired to violate, or caused a violation of U.S. sanctions on Syria or Iran pursuant to Executive Order 13608. It also lists foreign persons who have facilitated deceptive transactions for or on behalf of persons subject to U.S. sanctions. Such individuals and companies are called “Foreign Sanctions Evaders” or “FSEs”; transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States involving FSEs are prohibited. The FSE List is not part of the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List; individuals and companies on the FSE List may also appear on the SDN List.
Foreign Sanctions Evaders List
OFAC Sectoral Sanctions Identifications (SSI) List
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury publishes a list to identify persons operating in sectors of the Russian economy identified by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to Executive Order 13662. Directives found within the list describe prohibitions on dealings with the persons identified. This list is not part of the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List; individuals and companies on the SSI List may also appear on the SDN List.
Sectoral Sanctions Identifications (SSI) List
OFAC Non-SDN Palestinian Legislative Council (NS-PLC) list
The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) List is published by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury. It is listed as a non-SDN list associated with anti-terrorism programs.
Section (b) of General License 4 issued pursuant to the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 594), the Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 595), and the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 597) authorizes U.S. financial institutions to reject transactions with members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) who were elected to the PLC on the party slate of Hamas, or any other Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT), or Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), provided that any such individuals are not named on OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List).
Non-SDN Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) List
OFAC List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561 (the Part 561 List)
In order to implement certain provisions of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA), the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA), the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA) and certain executive orders, OFAC has developed a list of foreign financial Institutions that are subject to sanctions under these laws and orders.
The List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561
OFAC Non-SDN Iranian Sanctions Act (NS-ISA) List
On October 9, 2012, the President signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13628, which provides for, among other things, the implementation of certain sanctions set forth in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (TRA). Section 1 of E.O. 13628 provides that the Secretary of the Treasury, pursuant to authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), shall take action to implement certain sanctions set forth in Section 6 of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, as amended (ISA), when the President, the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of the Treasury imposes such sanctions on a person pursuant to provisions of ISA, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, as amended, or the TRA. Section 6 of ISA includes both blocking and non-blocking sanctions.
Non-SDN Iranian Sanctions Act List
OFAC List of Persons Identified as Blocked Solely Pursuant to Executive Order 13599 (the 13599 List)
To assist the public in complying with the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 560 (the “ITSR”), this is a list of persons identified by OFAC as meeting the definition of the term Government of Iran or the term Iranian financial institution as set forth in, respectively, sections 560.304 and 560.324 of the ITSR. Pursuant to Executive Order 13599, as implemented through section 560.211 of the ITSR, the property and interests in property of persons included on this list, as well as property such as vessels identified on this list, must be blocked if they are in or come within the United States or if they are in or come within the possession or control of a U.S. person, wherever located. This list does not include persons whose property and interests in property are blocked under both Part 560 and one or more other parts of 31 C.F.R. chapter V. Such persons are included on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) with the identifier “[IRAN]” as well as the relevant identifier(s) for the other sanctions program(s) pursuant to which the persons’ property and interests in property are blocked.
List of Persons Identified as Blocked Solely Pursuant to Executive Order 13599
FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Director of FinCEN is appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury and reports to the Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. FinCEN’s mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.
Section 311 – Special Measures for Jurisdictions, Financial Institutions, or International Transactions of Primary Money Laundering Concern.
FinCEN publishes a list with reference to section Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act “Special Measures for Jurisdictions, Financial Institutions, or International Transactions of Primary Money Laundering Concern”.
“Section 311 grants the Secretary of Treasury the authority, upon finding that reasonable grounds exist for concluding that a foreign jurisdiction, institution, class of transaction, or type of account is of “primary money laundering concern,” to require domestic financial institutions and financial agencies to take certain “special measures” against the entity of primary money laundering concern”.
Section 311: Special Measures
Department of State
In accordance with the President Trump’s June 2017 National Security Presidential Memorandum, the U.S. Department of State “is publishing a list of entities and subentities that are under the control of, or act for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel and with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba – the State Department’s List of Restricted Entities and Subentities Associated with Cuba (“Cuba Restricted List”)”. The Cuba Restricted List is maintained by the U.S. Department of State and will be published and periodically updated as necessary in the Federal Register.
Cuba Restricted List
This text is neither a legal advice nor legally binding; there is no guarantee for completeness. Please consult the original sources and relevant authorities.
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014