New guidance on Australia’s sanctions regime

The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued new guidance material in relation to Australia’s Autonomous Sanctions Act.

Australia implements 21 sanctions regimes, which include both United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions and Australian autonomous sanctions.

Sanctions measures include restrictions on trade in goods and services, restrictions on engaging in commercial activities, targeted financial sanctions (including asset freezes) on designated persons and entities, and travel bans on certain designated persons.

It is an offence to contravene a sanction law. As sanctions may involve denying access to the financial system, financial institutions need to monitor details of sanctions published by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The new guidance material provides a “snapshot” of the measures in each of Australia’s sanctions regimes, including the reason for the imposition of sanctions, what is prohibited by the regime, who must comply with the regime, and relevant legislation.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard-setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the counter terrorism-financing (AML/CTF), has recently published two updates on international AML/CTF compliance.

The reports provide an update on jurisdictions which may pose a risk to the international financial system:
Public statement – October 2019– which calls attention to ongoing issues in relation to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran.
AML/CTF compliance update on jurisdictions that have strategic AML/CFT deficiencies for which they have developed an action plan with the FATF.

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