Sanctions Profile: Syria

At a glance

In 2005, by UNSC Resolution 1636, the UN Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on people suspected of being involved in the 14 February 2005 terrorist bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, in which Syria was implicated by a UN report. The EU implemented those measures by adopting Council Common Position 2005/888/CFSP and Council Regulation (EC) No 305/2006. See the Lebanon country profile for further details on these sanctions.

Show full details

In 2011, the EU established an autonomous sanctions regime against Syria, by Council Decision 2011/273/CFSP and Council Regulation (EU) 442/2011, in response to the Syrian government’s violent repression of civilians. Those sanctions are currently imposed by Council Decision 2013/255/CFSP (as amended) and Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012 (as amended). They include an arms embargo, several trade and financing restrictions, as well as targeted asset freezes and travel bans.

Summary of Current EU Sanctions:

General

  • Arms embargo
  • Ban on the export to Syria of certain items that may be used for internal repression
  • Ban on the export to Syria of certain surveillance equipment and related services
  • Ban on trade in gold, diamonds, and precious metals with the Syrian government
  • Ban on the export to Syria of luxury goods
  • Ban on the export to Syria of jet fuel and related additives
  • Ban on the export to Syria of key equipment and technology for certain sectors of Syria’s oil and gas industry
  • Ban on importing Syrian crude oil and petroleum products
  • Prohibition on investing in the Syrian oil and natural gas industries, or in construction of power plants for electricity production
  • Prohibition on entering certain financial arrangements with Syrian enterprises engaged in the Syrian oil industry sectors of exploration, productions or refining, and Syrian enterprises engaged in the construction of new power plants for the production of electricity in Syria
  • Ban on delivering Syrian denominated banknotes and coinage to the Central Bank of Syria
  • Ban on entering into new long-term commitments for public and private provided financial support for trade with Syria, and a call for restraint in respect of short and medium-term commitments
  • Ban on entering into new commitments for grants, financial assistance, or concessional loans to the Syrian government
  • Ban on disbursements or payments by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in connection with any existing loan agreements entered into between Syria and the EIB
  • Ban on the opening of new branches, subsidiaries, or representative offices of Syrian banks in the territories of Member States, and of Member State banks or bank accounts in Syria
  • Ban on the sale, purchase, brokering or assistance in the issuance of Syrian public or public-guaranteed bonds issued after 1 December 2011 to and from the Syrian government
  • Ban on providing insurance and re-insurance to the Syrian government

Targeted

  • Asset freeze
  • Travel ban

Designation Criteria

People and entities the EU Council determines to be responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population in Syria or benefitting from or supporting the regime, and those associated with them. In addition:

  1. Leading business persons operating in Syria;
  2. Members of the Assad or Makhlouf families;
  3. Syrian Government Ministers in power after May 2011;
  4. Members of the Syrian Armed Forces of the rank of “colonel” and the equivalent or higher in post after May 2011;
  5. Members of the Syrian security and intelligence services in post after May 2011;
  6. Members of regime-affiliated militias; and
  7. Those operating in the chemical weapons proliferation sector, as well as those associated with them.

People and entities who fall into one of the above categories shall not be designated if they are not, or are no longer, associated with the Syrian regime or do not exercise influence over it, or do not pose a real risk of circumvention.

 

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News

EU Court annuls Syria sanctions listings: Abdulkarim & Alkarim

The EU General Court has annulled the 2017-2019 Syria sanctions listings of Wael Abdulkarim and Alkarim for Trade and Industry LLC (Alkarim) – see T-559/17 and T-667/17 (31 January 2019). Mr Abdulkarim was listed for being an influential businessman operating in Syria, for representing Alkarim. Alkarim was listed for being an internationally recognised Syrian conglomerate […]

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George Haswani’s EU Syria sanctions appeal

In March 2017, the EU General Court annulled George Haswani’s designation because the evidence was vague and did not substantiate the reasons given. The Court rejected as inadmissible Mr Haswani’s challenge to subsequent amended sanctions and he appealed against that finding. The ECJ has now allowed Mr Haswani’s appeal on that point – C-313/17 P […]

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EU adds 11 businessmen & 5 entities to Syria sanctions

Today (21 January), the EU added 11 businessmen and 5 entities to its Syria sanctions list, on the basis that they “support and/or benefit from the Syrian regime” by being involved in “luxury estate development and other regime-backed projects”. They will now be subject to EU-wide asset freezes and (where appropriate) travel bans. See Council […]

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EU Court upholds Syria sanctions listings of Bena Properties & Cham Holding

The EU General Court has dismissed the annulment applications brought by Bena Properties (Syria’s largest real estate investment company) and Cham Holding (Syria’s largest holding company), in respect of their 2016 – 2018 EU Syria sanctions listings. See judgments: T-412/16 and T-413/16 (16 January 2019). The entities were listed for being controlled by EU-designated Rami […]

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EU General Court upholds Syria sanctions listings

The EU General Court has upheld the 2016-18 Syria sanctions listings of Ehab Makhlouf (cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad), Razan Othman (wife of EU-sanctioned Rami Makhlouf), and Syriatel Mobile Telecom (Joint Stock Company) (Syrian mobile telephone services company). See judgments (French only): T-409/16, T-416/16 and T-411/16 (12 December 2018). Ehab Makhlouf was listed for being […]

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Current Sanctions

EU UK

Consolidated

Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012

Parent Regulation

Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012

Amended by:

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 55/2012

Council Regulation (EU) No 168/2012

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 266/2012

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 410/2012

Council Regulation (EU) No 509/2012

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2012/544/CFSP

Council Regulation (EU) No 545/2012

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 673/2012

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 742/2012

Council Regulation (EU) No 867/2012

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 944/2012

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1117/2012

Council Regulation (EU) No 325/2013

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 363/2013

Council Regulation (EU) No 517/2013

Council Regulation (EU) No 697/2013

Council Regulation (EU) No 1332/2013

Council Regulation (EU) No 124/2014

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 578/2014

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 693/2014

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 793/2014

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1013/2014

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1105/2014

Council Regulation (EU) No 1323/2014

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/108

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/375

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/780

Council Regulation (EU) 2015/827

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/828

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/961

Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1828

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2350

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/840

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1735

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1893

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1984

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1996

Council Regulation (EU) 2016/2137

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/480

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/907

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1241

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1327

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1751

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/282

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/420

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/774

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/85

Consolidated

Council Decision 2013/255/CFSP

Parent Decision

Council Decision 2013/255/CFSP

Amended by:

Council Decision 2013/760/CFSP

Council Decision 2014/74/CFSP

Council Decision 2014/309/CFSP

Council Implementing Decision 2014/387/CFSP

Council Implementing Decision 2014/488/CFSP

Council Implementing Decision 2014/678/CFSP

Council Implementing Decision 2014/730/CFSP

Council Decision 2014/901/CFSP

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/117

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/383

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/784

Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/837

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/973

Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1836

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/2359

Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/850

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2016/1746

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2016/1897

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2016/1985

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2016/2000

Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/2144

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/485

Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/917

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/1245

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/1341

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/284

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/421

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/778

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2019/87

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