Sanctions Regime in UK

Sanctions Regime in UK

Sanctions regime in UK is restrictive measures aimed at achieving national security or foreign policy goals. The UK implements and enforces sanctions imposed by the United Nations and under the UK’s internal sanction regime. The UK has attempted to transfer the political objectives of the EU’s pre-Brexit sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 and the European Union (Leave Act) 2018 to British law. The political goals are the same, but there are no differences in interpretation between the two institutions and in the list of individuals, groups and entities subject to asset freezes. As a member of the United Nations, the United Kingdom is obligated to apply sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. The United Kingdom applies all sanctions introduced by the United Nations Security Council under Chapter 7 of the Charter of the United Nations. Section 1 of the 2018 Sanctions and Money Laundering Prevention Act authorizes relevant UK Ministers to provide sanctions to continue to comply with the country’s international obligations.

UK Sanction Types

The UK can impose the following sanctions regime in UK:

  • trade sanctions
  • economic sanctions
  • immigration sanctions
  • air and sea sanctions, including delisting or movement control embargoes) which apply only to persons or vessels designated by the UK government or point.

It will be published through the UK Sanctions List which includes designations or specifications created using the Sanctions Act. The Finance Department’s Directorate-General for Financial Sanctions Enforcement also maintains a sanctions list, known as the Aggregate Asset Freeze Target List, which contains details on the imposition of asset freeze measures.

What is OFSI?

OFSI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) an independent agency of the Government of UK, is responsible for the supervision and regulation of banks, insurance companies, trusts and lending companies. Government agencies also regulate private pension plans under federal oversight. The defined purpose of this agency is to enable financial institutions to compete and take risks, thereby enabling depositors, policyholders, financial institutions (FI), creditors and members of the protected retirement system.

Human Rights Sanctions After Brexit

Iran is currently under the sanctions regime in UK. This document contains the current list of persons designated to be implicated in human rights violations. This system of sanctions aims to encourage the Iranian government to comply with international human rights law and respect human rights. The rules demand a freeze on the assets of those identified and named under sanctions legislation responsible for serious human rights violations in Iran. The UK is also enforcing sanctions on Iran related to nuclear weapons. The first wave of human rights sanctions in the United Kingdom, announced on July 6, 2020, targeted the following 9 organizations and individuals:

  • 25 Russian citizens involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky,
  • 20 A Saudi citizen involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,
  • 2 Myanmar military general involved in systematic violence against the Rohingya
  • 2 organizations involved in torture, murder and forced labor on North Korean lands.