Types of sanctions and when to impose them.

Definition of sanctions

Sanctions are restrictive measures on trade adopted by the UN and the EU against countries and/or individual persons, groups, legal entities, bodies, etc. The extent of the trade restrictions varies, but restrictions most often encompass a weapons embargo, entry ban and imposition of freezing of funds and economic resources. In some cases, sanctions also involve a ban on import and export of other products than weapons.

Reasons for imposing sanctions

The UN Security Council adopts resolutions on sanctions, and the EU passes regulations on sanctions where a country or a person persistently violates international conventions and agreements, for instance human rights. A country may become subject to sanctions if the country is involved in a war or civil war, including breaches of ceasefire agreements.

Freezing of assets

Freezing of assets is defined as restrictions on free access by designated individuals or entities to any funds and economic resources owned or controlled by physical or legal persons, groups or entities appearing in the annexes to the EU regulations. All funds and economic resources must be frozen. No financial funds or economic resources may be made available to designated persons or entities. Neither may financial services be supplied to designated persons or entities.

Sanctions against terrorism

As a response to the terrorist attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001, the EU passed a number of legislative initiatives relating to terrorism. In connection with this, the EU passed legislative acts relating to terrorism in general and also specifically directed against Al-Qaida and Afghanistan. The sanctions involve, among other things, requirement for freezing of funds and economic resources.

The EU database on designees subject to freezing

The EU has established a database of all designated persons, groups, legal entities, bodies etc. subject to EU provisions of freezing of assets. The EU Commission keeps the database up to date on a running basis.