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Australia and sanctions

What You Need to Do

What do I need to do?

It is your responsibility to ensure you do not contravene a sanctions law. You must get your own legal advice and conduct your own due diligence to ensure you are fully informed about who you are dealing with. We are here to assist you understand your rights and responsibilities and will work with you to prevent and address breaches of Australian sanctions law. But we cannot provide legal advice or advice on the sanctions laws of other countries.

We recommend you review the checklist

  • Read the all the information on this website on sanctions activities
  • Plan ahead to ensure that you avoid delays in conducting your business or activity
  • Familiarise yourself with sanctions regimes which may affect your activities, operations or business
    • if they restrict trade or commercial activities, familiarise yourself with the goods, services or sectors to which they apply
    • if they include targeted financial sanctions, familiarise yourself with the kinds of people/entities which are designated
  • Note that, although sanctions regimes are often identified by reference to a country (i.e. ‘Iran sanctions’), a regime will often include sanctions on persons or entities that are not nationals of, or not based, in that country
  • Note that the sanctions laws of other countries and/or the European Union may also apply to the overseas activities of Australian citizens or Australian-registered bodies corporate, and it is your responsibility to get legal advice on whether you may be affected by foreign laws
  • Undertake the due diligence checks necessary to ensure you do not contravene sanctions law, including to properly inform yourself about persons or entities connected with your proposed activity or operation. As part of your own due diligence checks, search the Consolidated List to ascertain:
    • if a person or entity connected with your proposed activity or operation is subject to targeted financial sanctions
    • if an asset you are using or dealing with is owned or controlled by a designated person or entity (that is, whether you hold a freezable or controlled asset), and if you are unsure, request the assistance of the Australian Federal Police (AFP)
  • Subscribe to our email list to receive updates on Australian sanctions laws and updates to our Consolidated List
  • Get your own legal advice if you think you may be affected by sanctions
  • If you still are unsure about whether you are affected by sanctions, submit a request for an inquiry through ASO’s portal, the Online Sanctions Administration System (OSAS), ensuring you provide all relevant information
  • If you believe your proposed activity is affected by sanctions and that you meet the criteria for a permit, submit an application for a sanctions permit through OSAS ensuring you provide all relevant information
  • Ensure you provide complete and accurate information to ASO and where necessary the AFP
  • Ensure you comply with any notice issued by ASO to produce information and documents
  • Attend a free ASO presentation on Australian sanctions in your nearest Australian major capital city 
  • Request an ASO speaker to present at seminars hosted by industry groups, professional associations and peak bodies
  • Consider measures you could take to promote awareness of sanctions and minimise sanctions risk in your organisation, including by incorporating sanctions compliance into your internal due diligence policies and procedures.

What if I have information on a possible illegal activity?

If you have any information in relation to a possible contravention of an Australian sanctions law, please notify ASO by emailing us at sanctions@dfat.gov.au or notify the Australian Federal Police (AFP) or Australian Border Force (ABF). Information on how to contact the AFP and report a crime is provided here on the AFP website or through the ABF Borderwatch program to report suspicious or illegal immigration, customs and border-related activity.

What if I hold, or think I may hold, a freezable or controlled asset?

If you are, or think you may be, using or dealing with an asset that is owned or controlled by a designated person or entity (that is, you are holding a freezable or controlled asset), you must hold (or ‘freeze’) the asset and inform the AFP as soon as possible. Asset holders are required by law to provide the AFP with specific information about freezable or controlled assets (regulation 42 of the Charter of the United Nations (Dealing with Assets) Regulations 2008 and regulation 24 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011). Information on how to contact the AFP is provided here on the AFP website.

What if I think I've made a mistake?

Tell us. We respect when you have made your best efforts to comply and mistakes happen. If you identify that you have unintentionally undertaken an activity in contravention of an Australian sanctions law, without a permit to do so, please notify us immediately by email at sanctions@dfat.gov.au. We want to work with you to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities, and is willing and able to comply. We will work with you to prevent and address breaches.

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