Sanctions Profile: Yemen

At a glance

UN sanctions on Yemen were first imposed in February 2014, by UN Security Council Resolution 2140. The sanctions comprised an asset freeze and travel ban on listed individuals, and also established a sanctions committee to oversee and implement these measures.

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The sanctions were established in response to reports of serious human rights abuses and violence against civilians in the country, the recruitment of children by armed groups and Yemeni Government forces, and the use of media to incite violence and frustrate the people’s “legitimate aspirations for peaceful change”.

EU sanctions on Yemen were first imposed in December 2014, by Council Regulation 1352/2014 and Council Decision 2014/932/CFSP. The EU sanctions regime on Yemen was put in place to implement the newly instituted UN sanctions regime (Resolution 2140), and comprised an asset freeze and travel ban on listed individuals. The designation criteria are the same as set out in the UN’s sanctions regime, and the EU lists only those designated by the UN sanctions committee.

Summary of Current UN Sanctions:


  • Arms embargo
  • Asset freeze
  • Travel ban

Designation Criteria

Asset freeze & travel ban

People and entities determined by the Yemen Sanctions Committee established by Resolution 2140 to be engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, stability, or security of Yemen.

Arms embargo

The UN arms embargo on Yemen imposed by Resolution 2216 applies to:

  1. Ali Abdullah Saleh, Abdullah Yahya Al Hakim, and Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Huthi;
  2. people and entities designated by the Yemen Sanctions Committee, including under the designation criteria in Resolution 2140;
  3. people and entities listed in the annex to Resolution 2216; and
  4. people and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the above or using their flag vessels or aircraft.

Summary of Current EU Sanctions:


  • Arms embargo
  • Asset freeze
  • Travel ban

Designation Criteria

People and entities designated by the Yemen Sanctions Committee established by Resolution 2140 for engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen, including but not limited to:

  1. acts obstructing or undermining the successful completion of the political transition, as outlined in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism Agreement;
  2. acts impeding the implementation of the outcomes of the final report of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference through violence, or attacks on essential infrastructure;
  3. planning, directing or committing acts that violate applicable international human rights law or international humanitarian law, or acts that constitute human rights abuses, in Yemen; and
  4. acts violating the arms embargo imposed by Article 1 of Decision 2014/932/CFSP or obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Yemen or access to, or distribution of, humanitarian assistance in Yemen.


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US continues Yemen sanctions for 1 year

On 16 May 2012, the US adopted Executive Order 13611, which declared a national emergency with respect to Yemen, and imposed a number of asset freezing measures. Yesterday, President Donald Trump extended those sanctions for 1 year by continuing the national emergency as declared. White House press release here.


UN Security Council renews Yemen sanctions until 26 Feb. 2019

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted Resolution 2402 (2018), which renews until 26 February 2019 the arms embargo, travel bans and asset freezes against those “threatening peace and security in Yemen”. UN press release here. An alternate draft resolution, tabled by the UK, was defeated by a vote of 11 in favour to 2 against […]


UN & EU amend 1 entry on Yemen sanctions list

The UN Security Council has amended the entry of 1 person, Ali Abdullah Saleh, on its Yemen sanctions list, so that his status now reads: “reportedly deceased”. UN press release here. On 8 May 2018, the EU implemented this amendment by adopting Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/694 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/689. UK OFSI Notice […]


EU updates Yemen & ISIL/Al-Qaida listings

The EU has updated the listings of 4 people listed on its sanctions against Yemen, implementing changes made by the UN to its own sanctions listings. The people are Abdullah Hakim, Abd Al-Houthi, Ali Saleh, and Ahmed Saleh. See Implementing Regulation 2017/628 implementing Regulation 1352/2014 and Implementing Decision 2017/634 implementing Decision 2014/932/CFSP. It has also […]

YemenYemen TerrorismTerrorism

EU updates Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen & Terrorism sanctions

Syria The EU has de-listed Hisham Ikhtiyar and Anisa Al-Assad from its sanctions on Syria, and deleted a duplicate entry for Major General Fahd (aka. Lt General Fahid). See Regulation 2016/1735 implementing Regulation 36/2012 and Decision 2016/1746 implementing Decision 2013/255/CFSP. Afghanistan The EU has amended the list of people and entities under its sanctions on […]

SyriaSyria AfghanistanAfghanistan YemenYemen TerrorismTerrorism

Current Sanctions



Council Regulation (EU) No 1352/2014

Parent Regulation

Council Regulation (EU) No 1352/2014

Amended by:

Council Regulation (EU) 2015/878

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/879

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1920

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1737

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/628

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/689


Council Decision 2014/932/CFSP

Parent Decision

Council Decision 2014/932/CFSP

Amended by:

Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/882

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/1927

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2016/1747

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/634

Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/694

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