International sanctions are political instruments that can be imposed by the United Nations, the European Union and on a national level in order to punish or steer the behaviour of certain countries and groups. International sanctions generally consist of trade sanctions and financial sanctions. Trade sanctions relate to trade in specific goods and related services, such as dual-use items and military goods, arms embargoes or trade with government institutions or state-owned companies. Financial sanctions mainly relate to financial services and the freezing of funds and economic resources.
International sanctions are becoming more and more important in international politics, often with major, immediate, consequences for business. A few examples are trade with countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Sudan and many others.
Export controls refers to the controls and restrictions on import and export of strategic goods to and from the Netherlands or Europe for reasons of national or international security, foreign policy, anti-terrorism, crime fighting and non-proliferation. Export controls apply to specific goods, regardless of the exact destination of the goods. The strategic goods to which export controls relate, can be divided into (i) dual-use items and (ii) military items. Dual-use items are items that can be used for both military and civil purposes and the export of such goods is restricted under strict EU legislation. For the export of military items strict national regulations apply. Under circumstances there can be a certain overlap between international sanctions and export controls. This applies in particular if sanctions apply to strategic goods, such as an arms embargo of further restrictions relating to dual-use items. This creates an often complex legal landscape, in which it can be difficult to navigate your company.
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