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Sanctions regimes

Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo sanctions regimes

Why are sanctions imposed?

In 2013, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed sanctions in relation to the Central African Republic (CAR) in response to the worsening security and humanitarian situation in the CAR, including a breakdown of law and order, inter-sectarian tensions and widespread human rights abuses by armed groups. The sanctions regime was amended by a further UNSC resolution in 2014.

The UNSC has imposed sanctions in relation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2003, in response to acts of violence systematically perpetrated against civilians including violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. The sanctions regime has been amended and renewed by several subsequent UNSC resolutions.

The UNSC’s Sanctions Committees for the CAR and the DRC have designated individuals and entities who meet the designation criteria determined by the UNSC for those sanctions regimes. The designated individuals are predominantly senior leaders (or former leaders) of armed groups and militias. The designated entities include the Lord’s Resistance Army (or LRA), M23 and entities involved in breaching the arms embargo.

Australia implements the UNSC sanctions concerning the CAR and the DRC by incorporating them into Australian law.

What is prohibited by the CAR and the DRC sanctions regimes?

The CAR and the DRC sanctions regimes each impose the following sanctions measures:

Measure UNSC Autonomous
restrictions on supplying arms or related matériel, and related services  
restrictions on providing assets to designated persons or entities  
restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities   
travel bans on designated persons  

Restrictions on supplying arms or related matériel, and related services

It is prohibited to do the following without a sanctions permit:

  • directly or indirectly supply, sell or transfer arms or related matériel to the CAR or the DRC
  • provide technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance to the CAR if those services:
    • relate to military activities, or
    • relate to the provision, maintenance or use of arms or related matériel, including providing armed mercenary personnel (whether or not originating in Australia)
  • provide assistance (including financing and financial assistance), advice or training to the DRC if it is related to military activities.

Arms or related matériel includes, but is not limited to, weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, and spare parts or accessories for any of those things. It also includes paramilitary equipment. While each case will be considered individually, goods on the Defence and Strategic Goods List are likely to be considered arms or related matériel. Depending on the context, end user and end use, other goods may also be considered arms or related matériel. Go to Factsheet: Arms or Related Matériel for information on what to consider when assessing whether a good is an arm or related matériel.

Restrictions on providing assets to designated persons or entities

It is prohibited to directly or indirectly make an asset available to (or for the benefit of) a designated person or entity.

Restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities (requirement to freeze assets)

It is prohibited to use or deal with an asset, or allow or facilitate another person to use or deal with an asset, if the asset is owned or controlled by a designated person or entity (the assets are ‘frozen’ and cannot be used or dealt with). The prohibition on ‘dealing’ with assets including using, selling or moving assets. An 'asset' includes an asset or property of any kind, whether tangible or intangible, movable or immovable.

Go to the Consolidated List to search the names of designated persons and entities.

If you become aware that you are holding an asset of a designated person or entity, you are required to freeze (hold) that asset and notify the AFP as soon as possible. Go to What You Need to Do for more information.

Travel bans

All persons designated for the CAR and the DRC sanctions regimes are prohibited from transiting through or entering Australia.

Sanctions Permits

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit to allow an activity that would otherwise be prohibited under these regimes provided the activity meets specific criteria.

  • The table below provides a general guide to relevant criteria. You should get your own legal advice if you think your proposed activity is affected by sanctions and may meet the criteria for a permit. Go to Sanctions Permits for information on permits, including how to apply.

The Foreign Minister may need to notify or receive the approval of the UNSC CAR Sanctions Committee or UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee before granting a sanctions permit. Where required, the Australian Sanctions Office will assist the Foreign Minister to notify or seek approval from the UNSC as part of the permit application process.

Measure Criteria  Reference  
Restrictions on supplying arms or related matériel to the CAR 

The supply is:

  • intended solely for the support of, or use by, MICOPAX, MISCA, BINUCA or its guard unit, AU-RTF, French forces deployed in the CAR, MINUSCA, AUFOR RCA;

     

  • of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, that has been approved in advance by the Committee;
  • of protective clothing temporarily exported to the CAR for the personal use by: a member of the personnel of the United Nations; a representative of the media; a humanitarian or development worker; or a person associated with a person mentioned above;
  • of small arms or other related equipment intended solely for use in international patrols providing security in the Sangha River Tri-national Protected Area to defend against: poaching; smuggling of ivory or arms;
  • other activities contrary to the national laws of the CAR or the CAR’s international legal obligations; or
  • of arms or related matériel, that has been approved in advance by the Committee.

 

Regulations 4,5,7,8 and 9 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Central African Republic) Regulation 2014

 

Regulation 13CT of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958

 

Restrictions on supplying arms or related matériel to the DRC

The supply is:

  • to the Government of the DRC and for which the Committee has been given advance notice;
  • intended solely for the support of, or use by, the United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUC);
  • of protective clothing that is temporarily exported to the DRC for the personal use of personnel of the United Nations, representatives of the media, humanitarian or development workers or associated persons;
  • of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, for which the Committee has been given advance notice; or
  • intended solely for the support of, or use by, the African Union Regional Task Force.

 

Regulations 5,7,8, and 9 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Democratic Republic of the Congo) Regulations 2008

 

Regulation 13CL of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958

 

Provision of assistance (including financing and financial assistance), advice or training to the CAR if it is in relation to military activities

The service is:

 

  • the provision of technical assistance or training related to a supply of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, that has been approved in advance by the Committee; or
  • the provision of assistance or personnel, that has been approved in advance by the Committee.

 

Regulations 4,6,10 and 11 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Central African Republic) Regulation 2014
Provision of assistance (including financing and financial assistance), advice or training to the DRC if it is in relation to military activities 

The service is:

  • provided to the Government of the DRC, for which the Committee has been given advance notice;
  • consists of technical training and assistance intended solely for the support of, or use by, the United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUC);
  • consists of technical assistance and training related to non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, for which the Committee has been given advance notice; or
  • intended solely for the support of, or use by, the African Union Regional Task Force.

 

Regulations 6,10 and 11 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Democratic Republic of the Congo) Regulations 2008 
Restrictions on providing assets to designated persons or entities for the CAR

 

and

Restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities for the CAR

The activity is a:

  • basic expense dealing;
  • legally required dealing;
  • contractual dealing;
  • required payment dealing; or
  • extraordinary expense dealing.

 

Regulations 4,11A,11B and 11C of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Central African Republic) Regulation 2014
Restrictions on providing assets to designated persons or entities for the DRC

 

and

Restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities for the DRC

 

The activity is a:

  • basic expense dealing;
  • legally required dealing;
  • extraordinary expense dealing.
Regulations 4,12,13 and 14 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Democratic Republic of the Congo) Regulations 2008

 

Regulation 5 of the Charter of the United Nations (Dealing with Assets) Regulations 2008

Relevant legislation

Relevant legislation for the CAR and DRC sanctions regimes includes the following:

Other resources

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