Sanctions Profile: Burma / Myanmar

At a glance

EU sanctions on Burma/Myanmar were first imposed in 1990, and reaffirmed in Common Position 96/635/CFSP of October 1996.

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They initially expelled all Burma/Myanmar military personnel attached to the country’s diplomatic representations in the EU and to equivalent EU representations in Burma/Myanmar, and imposed an arms embargo. They were subsequently expanded to impose wider-ranging trade sanctions, as well as economic and targeted sanctions because the EU was concerned “at the absence of progress towards democratisation and at the continuing violation of human rights in Burma/Myanmar”.

Those sanctions have been gradually eased to reflect the implementation of political reforms in Burma/Myanmar and moves to redress certain human rights issues. In 2013, the last of the EU’s economic and targeted sanctions were lifted, leaving only an arms embargo in place.

In April 2018, following widespread grave human rights violations committed by Burmese military and security forces (particularly in the Rakhine State), the EU expanded its existing arms embargo to include (i) a prohibition on the export of dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police, (ii) restrictions on the export of equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for internal repression, and (iii) a prohibition on the provision of military training to, and military cooperation with, the Burma/Myanmar army. The EU also adopted a legal framework to impose targeted sanctions (travel bans and asset freezes) against individuals of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the border guard police responsible for serious human rights violations (Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/655 & Council Regulation (EU) 2018/647).

Summary of Current EU Sanctions:


  • Arms embargo


  • Asset freeze
  • Travel ban

Designation Criteria

Persons from the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the Border Guard Police responsible for:

  1. serious human rights violations in Burma/Myanmar;
  2. obstructing the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in need;
  3. obstructing the conduct of independent investigations into alleged serious human rights violations or abuses; and
  4. those associated with the above.


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Current Sanctions



Council Regulation (EU) No 401/2013

Parent Regulation

Council Regulation (EC) No 401/2013

Amended by:

Council Regulation (EU) 2018/647

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/898

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1117

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/2053


Council Decision 2013/184/CFSP

Parent Decision

Council Decision 2013/184/CFSP

Amended by:

Council Decision 2014/214/CFSP

Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/666

Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/627

Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/734

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/655

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/900

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1126

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/2054

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2018

Sanctions Review Procedure (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

Burma (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019