Sanctions Profile: Venezuela

At a glance

EU sanctions on Venezuela were first imposed in November 2017 in view of the country’s continuing deterioration of democracy, the rule of law and human rights (Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/2074 & Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2063).

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The regime comprises an arms embargo, as well as targeted asset freezes and travel bans. There are no UN sanctions on Venezuela.

Summary of Current EU Sanctions:


  • Arms embargo


  • Asset freeze
  • Travel ban

Designation Criteria

People and entities:

  1. responsible for serious human rights violations or abuses or the repression of civil society and democratic opposition in Venezuela;
  2. whose actions, policies or activities otherwise undermine democracy or the rule of law in Venezuela; or
  3. associated with those referred to above.


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OFAC amends Venezuela-related licences and FAQs

Yesterday (11 February), OFAC issued 2 Venezuela-related general licences which amend and replace their previous versions: General Licences 3C and 9B. OFAC also revised Venezuela-related FAQs 650, 661, and 662. See OFAC Notice.


New OFAC FAQs & amended licences on Venezuela’s PdVSA

Last week, OFAC amended 2 FAQs (595 and 648), issued 13 new FAQs, and amended 2 General Licences (3B and 9A) in connection with the recent designation of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA) (see previous blog). See OFAC Notices here and here.


UK post-Brexit sanctions regs for Iran, Venezuela & Burma

The UK Government has now published regulations under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 on the following regimes: The Iran (Sanctions) (Human Rights) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/134. See Explanatory Memorandum and Statutory Guidance. The Venezuela (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/135. See Explanatory Memorandum and Statutory Guidance. The Burma (Sanctions) (EU Exit) […]

IranIran VenezuelaVenezuela Burma / MyanmarBurma / Myanmar

US sanctions Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PdVSA

Yesterday (28 January), OFAC designated, pursuant to Executive Order 13850, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA) for “operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy”. The company is now subject to a US asset freeze. See OFAC Notice and US Treasury Press Release. In addition, OFAC issued 9 new Venezuela-related General […]


Venezuela brings WTO complaint against US sanctions

Venezuela has initiated WTO dispute consultations with the US, claiming that certain US laws and regulations relating to goods of Venezuelan origin, the liquidity of Venezuelan public debt, transactions in Venezuelan digital currency, and the SDN List are inconsistent with the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and the General Agreement on […]


Current Sanctions


Parent Regulation

Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2063

Amended by:

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/88

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/899

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1653

Parent Decision

Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/2074

Amended by:

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/90

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/901

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1656

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

Venezuela (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019