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Sanctions

About international sanctions

Sanctions are used as an enforcement tool to maintain and restore international peace and security: these sanctions are made by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and must be implemented by all UN members.

Sanctions are also used as a foreign policy tool by individual states, or groups of countries working together, when all other diplomatic methods have failed. These sanctions are sometimes referred to as autonomous sanctions and are made outside the UNSC framework.

The UK, EU and US all implement their own autonomous sanctions. These sanctions are being used to pursue the foreign policy objectives of the UK, EU and US, respectively.

Sanctions are used:

  • to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism and terrorist acts: for example, terrorist asset-freeze designations in place against certain individuals, groups or organisations engaged in, or supporting, terrorism

  • to encourage a change in the behaviour of a target country or regime: for example, the sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine

  • to apply pressure on a target country or regime to comply with set objectives: for example, the sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea were put in place to encourage the regime to give up its nuclear weapons programme and to increase the cost on the regime of pursuing this policy.

Sanctions are only used in the most serious of circumstances: in international relation terms the only action considered more serious than sanctions is military action. Countries usually try to achieve their aims diplomatically, but if that is not possible, and the issue is important enough, they may introduce sanctions.

A wide range of measures can be enforced under sanctions regimes, from asset-freeze designations (see below for more information on asset-freezes) to restrictions on the import or export of specified goods, and prohibitions on the provision of financial and other services.

How sanctions are implemented

Though Jersey is not a UN member in its own right, the UK's membership of the UN extends to the island. Therefore, in common with all UN members, Jersey has an obligation to implement UNSC sanctions Resolutions.

Both UNSC sanctions and autonomous UK sanctions are implemented by the UK under the relevant sanctions Regulations made under the Sanctions and Money Laundering Act 2018 ("SAMLA").

Jersey implements both UNSC sanctions and autonomous UK sanctions by implementing the relevant SAMLA Regulations through the Sanctions and Asset-Freezing (Jersey) Law 2019 ("SAFL"), and the Sanctions and Asset-Freezing (Implementation of External Sanctions) (Jersey) Order 2021 (the "External Sanctions Order").

Sanctions legislation

Sanctions and Asset-Freezing (Jersey) Law 2019

The Minister for External Relations and Financial Services (the "Minister") introduced SAFL to ensure the island would be able to implement UK sanctions regulations made under SAMLA when the UK left the EU, as part of the Government of Jersey's preparations for Brexit.

SAFL provides for both the implementation of UK and EU sanctions regulations. It ensures that all UNSC, UK, and EU terrorist asset-freeze designations have immediate effect in Jersey, and ensures that non-terrorism related UNSC asset-freeze designations are in force without delay.

More detailed information on the changes introduced by SAFL can be found in the Draft Sanctions and Asset-Freezing (Jersey) Law 201 Report on the Proposition that was lodged au Greffe on 23 October 2018.

Sanctions and Asset-Freezing (Implementation of External Sanctions) (Jersey) 2021

The External Sanctions Order was made under SAFL and gives effect to both UNSC sanctions Resolutions and autonomous UK sanctions regimes, by implementing the relevant SAMLA Regulations.

Asset-Freeze Designations and Financial Sanctions Notices

An asset-freeze designation is a type of targeted financial sanction that requires anyone holding a listed person's (a 'person' can refer to both individuals and legal entities) assets or economic resources to freeze them (i.e. deny the listed person access), and prohibits anyone from dealing with a listed person's assets or economic resources.

New UN, UK, and EU asset-freeze designations are effective immediately in Jersey if the relevant sanctions regime has been implemented.

When there has been a change to the asset-freeze designations in force in Jersey, a Financial Sanctions Notice ("Notice") is issued by External Relations and published on the Jersey Gazette. You can register to receive email alerts when a new Notice is published.

Notices are published when:

  • individuals or entities have been designated for the purpose of an asset-freeze.
  • individuals or entities are no longer subject to an asset-freeze.
  • the details of existing asset-freeze designations (e.g. identifying information) have been changed.
  • there are other significant changes to Jersey's sanctions regime.

The Notice may include identifying information on asset-freeze designations and what you must do, as well as legislative details and other relevant information.

Offences and prohibitions

Coulumn 5 of Schedule 1 to the External Sanctions Order sets out the regime-specific (e.g. Syria) non asset-freeze prohibitions in the UK regulations to which an offence will apply in Jersey. Other offences are set out in SAFL and the External Sanctions Order.

Please see JFSC guidance by country and category for further information on individual regimes.

The maximum custodial sentence for a breach of financial sanctions is a term of 7 years imprisonment.

Reporting obligations

Reporting obligations are set out at Article 32 of SAFL and apply to all regimes in force. These obligations include requirements for a relevant financial institution to inform the Minister if:

  • it holds an account of a person, has entered into dealings or an agreement with a person or has been approached by or on behalf of a person, and
  • it knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that the person:

        i) is a designated person, or;
        ii) has committed an offence, and

  • the information or other matter on which the knowledge or reasonable cause for suspicion is based came to it in the course of carrying on its business

You should continue to use the suspected breach form available from the JFSC website to report any suspected breach of financial sanctions and return the completed form to sanctions@gov.je

These reporting obligations are in addition to the obligation to report suspicious activities to the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Sanctions licences and exceptions

  • Asset-freeze prohibitions: you should continue to use the asset-freeze licence form to apply for a licence in respect of an asset-freeze and return the completed form to sanctions@gov.je. The provisions on exceptions and licences for asset-freezes are set out in Part 3 of SAFL. A licence may only be granted by the Minister if there is scope in the relevant UK regulations for an equivalent licence to be granted by the UK Treasury. Exceptions to an asset-freeze that are set out in UK sanctions regulations do not apply in Jersey; however, they may be considered as a basis for an asset-freeze licence application. 
  • Non asset-freeze prohibitions: for licence applications that relate to non asset-freeze prohibitions you should apply in writing to the Minister at sanctions@gov.je. The provisions on exceptions and licences are set out in Part 3 of the SAFL. A licence may only be granted by the Minister if there is scope in the relevant UK regulations for an equivalent licence to be granted by the UK Treasury. Exceptions to a non asset-freeze prohibition that are set out in UK sanctions regulations apply in Jersey.
  • UK General Licences will not apply to Jersey persons or institutions operating in Jersey; however, they may be considered as the basis for a licence application.

Responsibility for sanctions in Jersey

Minister for External Relations and Financial Services

The Minister for External Relations and Financial Services is the 'Competent Authority' for sanctions in Jersey and the Ministry of External Relations co-ordinates the introduction of sanctions measures and assists the Minister in carrying out his duties as Competent Authority.

Private Sector

Responsibility for monitoring and ensuring compliance with sanctions rests with individual businesses, for example, banks, through their compliance officers.

Jersey Financial Services Commission

The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) has an overall regulatory role with regard to the finance industry generally, which includes checking that institutions have effective systems and procedures to implement compliance with sanctions. 

Joint Financial Crimes Unit

The Joint Financial Crimes Unit is responsible for receiving Suspicious Activity Reports, gathering intelligence on financial crime, including sanctions, and investigating possible breaches of sanctions legislation.

Law Officers' Department

The Law Officers' Department consists of both the Civil and Criminal Divisions. The Civil Division provides legal advice to the Government and the Criminal Division is responsible for prosecutions.

Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit

The Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit lead criminal investigations into potential breaches of sanctions legislation.

Customs and Immigration Service

The States of Jersey Customs and Immigration Service is responsible for the enforcement of any sanctions that concern the movement of goods or persons.

Combatting the financing of terrorism

Find out more about the legislative measures Jersey has in place to combat the financing of terrorism.

Additional information about non-financial sanctions

Customs and Immigration: enforcement of travel bans in Jersey

Travel bans imposed on specified individuals or nationals of a particular country are applied locally in accordance with the relevant sanctions in a similar way as they are in the United Kingdom. For further information contact the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service. 

Export controls and sanctions

Jersey implements the same trade restrictions as the UK. The UK provides guidance on trade sanctions, arms embargoes and other trade restrictions.

Further guidance on sanctions

Further information is available on the JFSC website:


Challenging sanctions designations 

Those who are subject to financial sanctions can request a reassessment of their listing. The financial sanctions will remain in place while the reassessment is taking place.  

UN listings 

If you are a designated person who is named in a UN list, you, or a person acting on your behalf, can request that the Government of Jersey (GoJ) use its best endeavours to secure the removal of your name from the relevant UN list. You may wish to request such an action if you believe that the reasons for your designation are incorrect. 

The GoJ cannot contact the UN directly in this regard. However, the Ministry of External Relations (“External Relations”) and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) have in place an arrangement in respect of requests for the de-listing of UN listed persons. Under this arrangement, External Relations can request that the FCDO make a de-listing request on its behalf. Such a request for assistance to the FCDO will only be made if, in the view of the Minister for External Relations and Financial Services, there are sufficient grounds for doing so.

UK listings 

If you are a UK designated person (other than a person designated under a UN list), you, or a person acting on your behalf, have the right to request a revocation or variation of your designation. You may wish to request a revocation, for instance, if you believe that the reasons for your designation are incorrect, or a variation if, for instance, particular information associated with your designation, such as your date of birth, is incorrect. Other reasons for seeking a revocation could include if you believe your designation is inappropriate having regard to the purpose of the regime, or the likely significant effects of the designation. 

For further information, including eligibility to apply for a variation or revocation of a UK designation, submitting a sanctions challenge form and other information, consult the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office at sanctions@fcdo.gov.uk.

Jersey listings

There are currently no autonomous Jersey listings in force.

Submitting a request  

If you have been designated or listed under a UK sanctions regime (other than a person designated under a UN list) and wish to request the revocation, variation or review of your designation or the removal of your listing, you should complete a UK review request form. This covers requests for reviews, revocations, variations or removals. 

By properly and fully completing the form, you will ensure that you meet the requirements for a valid request. This form can also be completed by another person on the behalf of the designated or listed person, if confirmation of authority is provided. It is recommended that Jersey persons wishing to make a de-listing request in respect of a UK designation do so directly through the UK.

If you are designated person who is named in a UN list, you can submit a request to the Minister for External Relations at sanctions@gov.je, providing equivalent information to that required in a UK review request form.

UN listed persons can also make a de-listing request directly to the UN. In respect of UN listings made under the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al Qaida sanctions regime, persons can contact the Office of the Ombudsperson. A full description of the procedure for making such requests can be found on the UN website

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