Syria

Australia imposes an autonomous sanctions regime in relation to Syria.

The Australian Government announced the sanctions regime on 13 May 2011 to reflect Australia's grave concern at the deeply disturbing and unacceptable use by the Syrian regime of violence against its people.

Australia will also introduce new laws in October 2015 fully implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199 in relation to the protection of Syrian cultural heritage.

This page summarises the current sanctions measures imposed by the autonomous sanction regime in relation to Syria.

This page also includes information on de-listing requests from a designated person or entity and useful links.

Restrictions on the export or supply of goods

  1. Australian law prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Syria, for use in Syria, or for the benefit of Syria, of the following ‘export sanctioned goods’ for Syria:
  2. without a sanctions permit.

  3. Australian law also prohibits the supply, sale or transfer to:
    • the Government of Syria;
    • a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria; or
    • a person, entity or body acting on behalf or at the direction of the Government of Syria, or a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria
    • an entity or body owned or controlled by the Government of Syria, or a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria

    of:

    • gold, precious metals or diamonds

    without a sanctions permit.

    Conditions for the grant of a sanctions permit

    The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit authorising an activity that would contravene these prohibitions if the Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to do so.

    If you assess that your activity satisfies this condition, you may apply for a sanctions permit using the Online Sanctions Administration System (OSAS).

    Implementing legislation

Restrictions on the export or provision of services

  1. Australian law prohibits the provision to any person of:
    • technical advice, assistance or training;
    • financial assistance;
    • a financial service; or
    • another service

    if it assists with, or is provided in relation to:

    • the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of an ‘export sanctioned good’ to Syria, for use in Syria, or for the benefit of Syria

    without a sanctions permit.

  2. Australian law prohibits the provision to any person of:
    • financial assistance; or
    • a financial service

    if it assists with, or is provided in relation to:

    • the import, purchase or transport of an ‘import sanctioned good’ for Syria that originates in, or is exported from, Syria

    without a sanctions permit.

  3. Australian law prohibits the provision to a person of an investment service if it assists with, or is provided in relation to, a ‘sanctioned commercial activity’ as defined in regulation 5A of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011.
  4. Australian law prohibits the provision to Syria, or to a person for use in Syria, of:
    • technical advice, assistance or training;
    • financial assistance;
    • a financial service; or
    • another service

    if it assists with, or is provided in relation to:

    • a military activity; or
    • the manufacture, maintenance or use of an ‘export sanctioned good’ for Syria

    without a sanctions permit.

  5. Australian law also prohibits the provision to:
    • the Government of Syria;
    • a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria; or
    • a person, entity or body acting on behalf of at the direction of the Government of Syria, or a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria; or
    • an entity or body owned or controlled by the Government of Syria, or a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria

    of:

    • technical advice, assistance or training;
    • financial assistance;
    • a financial service; or
    • another service

    if it assists with, or is provided in relation to:

    • an activity involving the supply, sale, transfer, import, purchase or transport of an item of gold, precious metals or diamonds

    without a sanctions permit.

Conditions for the grant of a sanctions permit

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit authorising an activity that would otherwise contravene these prohibitions if the Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to do so.

If you assess that your activity satisfies this condition, you may apply for a sanctions permit using the Online Sanctions Administration System (OSAS).

Implementing legislation

Restrictions on the import, purchase or transport of goods

  1. Australian law prohibits the import, purchase or transport of the following ‘import sanctioned goods’ for Syria if the goods originate in, or are exported from, Syria:
  2. without a sanctions permit.

  3. Australian law also prohibits the import or purchase from
    • the Government of Syria;
    • a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria; or
    • a person, entity or body acting on behalf or at the direction of the Government of Syria, or a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria
    • an entity or body owned or controlled by the Government of Syria, or a public body, corporation or agency of the Government of Syria

    of:

    • gold, precious metals or diamonds

    without a sanctions permit.

Conditions for the grant of a sanctions permit

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit authorising an activity that would otherwise contravene these prohibitions if the Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to do so.

If you assess that your activity satisfies this condition, you may apply for a sanctions permit using the Online Sanctions Administration System (OSAS).

Implementing legislation

Restrictions on commercial activities

  1. Australian law prohibits:
    • the acquisition or extension of an interest in;
    • the establishment of or participation in a joint venture with; and
    • the granting of a financial loan or credit to

    an entity that is:

    without a sanctions permit.

  2. Australian law prohibits:
    • the sale or making available of an interest in a commercial activity in Australia

    in any of the following sectors of the oil and gas industry:

    • refining of fuels;
    • exploration of crude oil and natural gas;
    • production of crude oil and natural gas; or
    • liquefaction of natural gas

    to

    • the Government of Syria;
    • any natural person in, or resident in, Syria;
    • an entity formed or incorporated in Syria;
    • an entity or person acting on behalf of or at the direction of an entity or a person mentioned above; or
    • an entity owned or controlled by a person or entity mentioned above

    without a sanctions permit.

  3. Australian law prohibits:
    • the opening in Australia of a representative office, or the establishment in Australia of a branch or subsidiary, of;
    • the conclusion of an agreement related to the matters mentioned above, for or on behalf of;
    • the acquisition or extension of an interest in an Australian financial institution by;
    • the sale, or otherwise making available, of an interest in an Australian financial institution to; or
    • the establishment by a financial institution of a joint venture, or a correspondent banking relationship, with

    an entity that is:

    • a financial institution domiciled in Syria;
    • a branch or subsidiary, wherever located, of a financial institution domiciled in Syria; or
    • a financial institution, wherever domiciled, that is controlled by an entity or person domiciled in Syria

    without a sanctions permit.

  4. Australian law also prohibits:
    • the opening by a financial institution of a representative office in Syria; or
    • the establishment by a financial institution of a branch or subsidiary in Syria

    without a sanctions permit.

Conditions for the grant of a sanctions permit

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit authorising an activity that would otherwise contravene these prohibitions if the Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to do so.

If you assess that your activity satisfies this condition, you may apply for a sanctions permit using the Online Sanctions Administration System (OSAS).

Implementing legislation

Targeted financial sanctions

Australian law prohibits:

  • directly or indirectly making an asset available to, or for the benefit of, a ‘designated person or entity’ for Syria
  • the holding of an asset owned or controlled by a designated person or entity for Syria; and
    • the use or dealing with the asset; or
    • allowing the asset to be used or dealt with; or
    • facilitating the use of the asset or dealing with the asset

without a sanctions permit.

An ‘asset’ is defined broadly to include an asset or property of any kind, whether tangible or intangible, movable or immovable, and a legal document or instrument in any form evidencing title to, or interest in, such an asset or such property.

The Consolidated List includes the names of all designated persons.

Conditions for the grant of a sanctions permit

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit authorising an activity that would otherwise contravene these prohibitions if:

  • the Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to do so; and
  • the application for the sanctions permit is for a ‘basic expense dealing’, a ‘legally required dealing’, or a ‘contractual dealing’ as those terms are defined in regulation 20 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011.

If you assess that your activity satisfies these conditions, you may apply for a sanctions permit using the Online Sanctions Administration System (OSAS).

Implementing legislation

Travel bans

Australian law prohibits a person declared by the Minister for Foreign Affairs under regulation 6(11)(b) of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 as they relate to Syria from travelling to, entering or remaining in Australia unless the Minister for Foreign Affairs waives this prohibition.

The Consolidated List includes the names of all declared persons.

Conditions for the waiver of a travel ban

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may waive this prohibition only:

  • on the grounds that it would be in the national interest; or
  • on humanitarian grounds.

Implementing legislation

De-listing requests from a designated person or entity

A person or entity designated or declared, or who owns or controlled a designated assetfor the purposes of the Australian autonomous sanctions regime in relation to Syria may submit a de-listing request to the Minster for Foreign Affairs under regulation 11 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011.

Restrictions on dealing with cultural property

On 19 October 2015, regulations came into force implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2199, which prohibits the trade in illegally removed cultural property from Syria (as well as Iraq).

The new laws prohibit:

  • giving ‘illegally removed cultural property’ from Syria to another person;
  • trading in ‘illegally removed cultural property’ from Syria; and
  • transferring the title of ‘illegally removed cultural property’ from Syria.

‘Illegally removed cultural property’ means an item of:

  1. Syrian cultural property; or
  2. archaeological, historical, cultural, rare scientific, or religious, importance;

that has been illegally removed from Syria on or after 15 March 2011.

Implementing legislation

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Last Updated: 6 August 2014