Sanctions

Counter-terrorism

Australia fully implements UNSC resolution 1373 (2001) adopted on 28 September 2001 in response to the terrorist attacks in the United States of America on 11 September 2001.

UNSC resolution 1373 imposes obligations upon United Nations Member States to suppress terrorism, including obligations to impose targeted financial sanctions in relation to:

  • persons who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts;
  • persons who participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts;
  • entities owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such persons; and
  • persons and entities acting on behalf of, or at the direction of, such persons and entities.

Unlike other targeted financial sanctions imposed by the UNSC, the UNSC does not maintain a centralised list of persons and entities for the purposes of implementing the targeted financial sanctions imposed by UNSC resolution 1373.

Instead, each United Nations Member State maintains its own list of persons and entities for the purposes of its implementation of the targeted financial sanctions imposed by UNSC resolution 1373.

This page summarises the current sanctions measures implemented by Australia for the purposes of its implementation of UNSC resolution 1373.

This page also includes information on de-listing requests from a proscribed person or entity, liability for wrongly frozen assets and useful links.

Targeted financial sanctions

Australian law prohibits:

  • the use of or dealing with an asset that is owned or controlled by a proscribed person or entity;
  • making an asset available directly or indirectly to a proscribed person or entity.

An ‘asset’ is defined broadly to include an asset or property of any kind, whether tangible or intangible, movable or immovable.

The Consolidated List includes the names of all proscribed persons and entities.

Conditions for the grant of a sanctions permit

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may be able to grant a sanctions permit authorising an activity that would contravene these prohibitions if the activity is:

  • a ‘basic expense dealing’;
  • a ‘contractual dealing’; or
  • an ‘extraordinary expense dealing’

as those terms are defined in regulation 30 of the Charter of the United Nations (Dealing with Assets) Regulations 2008.

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

De-listing request from a proscribed person or entity

A person or entity proscribed for the purposes of Australia’s implementation of UNSC resolution 1373 may submit a de-listing request to the Minister for Foreign Affairs under section 17 of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945.

Liability for wrongly frozen assets

A person is not liable to an action, suit or proceeding for anything done in good faith and without negligence in compliance or purported compliance with Part 4 of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (the Act) under which Australia implements the targeted financial sanctions imposed by UNSC resolution 1373.

Owners of assets are entitled to seek compensation from the Commonwealth where they suffer loss as a result of their assets being wrongly frozen under Part 4 of the Act.  

For example, if a bank freezes the funds in a person’s account in the mistaken but honest belief that the person is a proscribed person or entity, that person may be entitled to compensation from the Commonwealth for any loss he or she suffers as a result.

Compensation from the Commonwealth

Compensation is available to the owner of an asset where the holder of the asset refuses, in good faith and without negligence, to deal with the asset in accordance with the owner's instructions, on the basis that the asset is a freezable asset when it is not in fact a freezable asset.

Specifically, the Act provides that if:

  • the owner or controller of an asset instructs a person holding the asset to use or deal with it; and
  • the holder refuses to comply with the instruction; and
  • the refusal was in good faith, and without negligence, in purported compliance with Part 4 of the Act; and
  • the asset was not a freezable asset; and
  • the owner of the asset suffered loss as a result of the refusal;

the owner of the asset is entitled to be compensated by the Commonwealth for that loss.

Submitting a claim for compensation

Owners of assets who believe they have suffered a loss in such circumstances may submit a claim with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  All claims should be in the form of a declaration made pursuant to the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth) and include evidence:

  • of the name, contact details and, where relevant, Australian Business Number of the asset owner, controller and holder;
  • of the basis under which the asset holder held the asset on behalf of the asset owner or controller;
  • that the owner or controller was the owner or controller of the asset in question at all relevant times, or as the case may be;
  • that the asset was held by the asset holder at all relevant times, or as the case may be;
  • of the relevant instruction(s) to the asset holder to use or deal with the asset;
  • that the asset holder refused to comply with those instructions;
  • that the refusal was in good faith, and without negligence, in purported compliance with the Act;
  • that the asset was not a freezable asset;
  • that a loss was suffered by the asset owner as a result of the refusal of the asset holder to comply with the relevant instructions; and
  • of the amount of the loss suffered, including details of the loss and the method of calculation.

Claims should be accompanied by consent to contact the relevant asset holder or controller for confirmation of the circumstances of the claim.

Claims should be addressed to:

Director
Sanctions Section
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221

or submitted by email to: sanctions@dfat.gov.au.

Implementing legislation

Sections 24 and 25 of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945

  • UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee
  • DFAT counter-terrorism page
  • The Australian Government may also list an organisation as a ‘terrorist organisation’ under the Criminal Code Act 1995.  This is a separate process from the Australian Government proscribing an entity for the purposes of Australia’s implementation of UNSC resolution 1373.  The listing of ‘terrorist organisations’ under the Criminal Code Act 1995 is administered by the Attorney-General’s Department.  More information is available at Australian National Security.