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Overview of sanctions and related resources

A key tool for the EU to intervene where necessary to prevent conflict or respond to current or emerging crises.

What are sanctions (restrictive measures)

Sanctions are an essential tool in the EU’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP), through which it can intervene where necessary to prevent conflict or respond to current or emerging crises.Although they are called ‘sanctions’, EU restrictive measures are not punitive. They are intended to bring about a change in bad or harmful policiesor activities by targeting the non-EU countries, including  organisations and individuals, responsible. 

The EU has over 40 different sanctions regimes in place. Some are mandated by the United Nations Security Council, while others are adopted autonomously by the EU. 

Decisions on the adoption, renewal, or lifting of sanctions regimes are taken by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of proposals from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The European Commission, together with the High Representative, make joint proposals of sanctions to the Council for adoption at unanimity. It then becomes applicable EU law when published in the Official Journal. In addition, as guardian of the treaties, the Commission plays a vital role in overseeing sanctions implementation by Member States. 

Sanctions resources

The EU sanctions map provides comprehensive details of all EU sanctions regimes and their corresponding legal acts, including those regimes adopted by the UN Security Council and transposed at EU level.

The consolidated list of individuals, groups and organisations subject to EU financial sanctions, which DG FISMA manages and updates whenever necessary, reflects the officially adopted texts published in the Official Journal of the EU. You can also download a PDF version of the consolidated list of financial sanctions.

whistleblower tool

Sharing of information about EU sanctions violations can contribute to the success of ongoing investigations in EU Member States and increase the effectiveness of EU sanctions.

The EU sanctions tool aims to help EU companies determine whether EU sanctions apply to their exports, imports and business with Iran. By providing an easy-to-use compliance assessment, the tool is designed as a first point of reference for EU companies at an early stage of their business engagement in Iran.

EUR-Lex is the online gateway to EU Law. It provides the official and most comprehensive access to EU legal documents, including legal acts adopted by the Council of the EU in the area of sanctions and published in the Official Journal of the EU. EUR-lex is available in all of the EU’s 24 official languages and is updated daily.

Guidance and advisories

  1. 12 October 2023
    Guidance note - Maritime oil industry
  2. 27 July 2023
    Factsheet - Accessing EU financial services as a non-profit organisation
  3. 26 February 2022
    Frequently asked questions - Sanctions
  4. 16 November 2020
    Guidance note - Humanitarian aid to fight the COVID-19
  5. 9 Octobre 2020
    Guidance note - Humanitarian aid to fight the COVID-19
  6. 11 May 2020
    Guidance note - Humanitarian aid to fight the COVID-19 (Syria)
  7. 1 September 2017
    Frequently asked questions - Syria

Sanctions against Russia

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine

More about sanctions

Statue of the blindfolded goddess of justice Themis or Justitia, against an European flag, as a legal concept

The European Union’s blocking statute (Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 ) protects EU operators from the extra-territorial application of non-EU country laws.


Questions on matters of implementation should primarily be addressed to the relevant national competent authority. The document below provides contact details in all Member States.

27 NOVEMBER 2023
National competent authorities for the implementation of EU restrictive measures (sanctions)