What are sanctions and do they apply to me?

Australian sanction laws implement United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regimes and Australian autonomous sanctions regimes.

Contravening an Australian sanction law may be a serious criminal offence. Penalties include up to ten years in prison and substantial fines. Australian sanction laws apply broadly, including to activities in Australia, and to activities by Australian citizens and Australian-registered bodies corporate overseas.

Australian exporters should visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for more information.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs or the Minister’s delegate may be able to grant a permit authorising an activity that would otherwise contravene an Australian sanction law. Different sanctions regimes impose different criteria which must be satisfied before the Minister or the Minister’s delegate may grant a sanctions permit. The Minister or the Minister’s delegate may attach conditions to a sanctions permit. You can submit a formal application for a sanctions permit by registering as a user of the Online Sanctions Administration System (OSAS) .

The sanctions regimes of some countries including Australia may have an extra-territorial reach. Therefore, companies and individuals should keep up to date with the latest changes in sanctions regimes impacting the countries in which they operate and seek appropriate legal advice.

For information on doing business in overseas markets, visit Austrade's export market profiles.