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Sanctions regimes

Myanmar

Why are sanctions imposed?

Australia imposed autonomous sanctions in relation to Myanmar in response to the Myanmar Government’s failure to recognise the victory of the National League for Democracy in the 1990 Myanmar elections. After democratic reforms were initiated by the government of President Thein Sein, Australia lifted some sanctions measures in 2012 but retained an arms embargo due to concerns about ongoing armed conflict, weapons proliferation and human rights. In October 2018, the Minister for Foreign Affairs imposed new targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on members of the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw), in response to the release of the full report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, which documented human rights abuses committed primarily by Myanmar's military against ethnic minorities.

What is prohibited by the Myanmar sanctions regime?

The Myanmar sanctions regime imposes the following sanctions measures:

Measure

UNSC

Autonomous

restrictions on supplying arms or related matériel

 

restrictions on the provision of certain 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

The Myanmar sanctions regime imposes an arms embargo. It is prohibited to:

  • directly or indirectly supply, sell or transfer arms or related matériel to Myanmar
  • provide a service if it relates to the supply of arms or related matériel to Myanmar
  • provide a service to Myanmar, or for use in Myanmar, if it relates to the manufacture, maintenance or use of arms or related matériel.

Arms or related matériel includes, but is not limited to, weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, and spare parts and 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 arms 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 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 includes 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.

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.  

 

Measure

Criteria

Reference 

Restrictions on supplying arms or related matériel

The Foreign Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to grant a permit.

Regulations 4, 12 and 18 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011

Regulations 11 of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958

Restrictions on the provision of certain services

The Foreign Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to grant a permit.

Regulations 5, 13 and 18 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011

Restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities

The Foreign Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to grant a permit

and

the activity is a:

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

 

Regulations 6, 14, 15, 18 and 20 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011

Autonomous Sanctions (Designated and Declared Persons – Myanmar) List 2018

Regulations 11A and 11B of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations

 

Relevant legislation

The relevant legislation for the Myanmar sanctions regime includes the following:

Other Resources

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