Isle of Man

Global sanctions guide

Ireland
Italy
  1. Does the Isle of Man have a sanctions regime in place? 

Yes. The Isle of Man Treasury has assigned responsibility for the Island’s sanctions regime to its Customs and Excise Division, and the Sanctions Officer in that division is the relevant person responsible for ensuring regimes and lists of persons subject to restrictions are kept up to date.

There is a responsibility for all people and entities on the island to be aware of the restrictions imposed by the various sanctions regimes. There is a particular requirement for professional regulated entities such as corporate service providers to be aware of them.

If any person on the island is aware of the presence of funds or other assets owned by or controlled by, or on behalf of, a person or entity on any sanctions list, they should notify the Sanctions Officer. Anyone who has any responsibility for administering, controlling or managing such funds or assets, or is or has been involved in such administration, control, management or the supply or sale of the assets, should notify the Sanctions Officer. Anyone with information relating to persons or entities on any sanctions list or to funds or assets owned or controlled by such a person or entity, should inform the Sanctions Officer.

  1. Does the Isle of Man implement UN sanctions? 

Yes. The Isle of Man government’s policy is to maintain the sanctions lists so that they reflect those of UK HM Treasury. EU sanctions are implemented under the European Communities (Isle of Man) Act 1973 and therefore any, UN Security Council resolutions, which are implemented by the EU, take effect on the Island.

  1. Does the Isle of Man implement an autonomous sanctions regime? 

Yes. As well as following the sanctions put in place by the UN and EU, the Isle of Man has an autonomous terrorist sanctions regime and has powers over the regulated sector under the Anti-Terrorism & Crime Act 2003 and Terrorism and Other Crime (Financial Restrictions) Act 2014.

  1. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in the Isle of Man? 

The types of sanctions that may be imposed include:

  • targeted sanctions focused on named persons or entities, and generally freezing assets and prohibiting making any assets available to them, directly or indirectly

  • economic sanctions that prohibit doing business with, or making funds or economic resources available to, designated persons, businesses or other entities (directly or indirectly)

  • currency or exchange controls
  • arms embargoes
  • import or export embargoes

  • aviation and travel bans

In general terms, it is a criminal offence to:

  • deal with funds or economic resources belonging to, owned, held or controlled by a designated person, if it is known, or if you have reasonable cause to suspect, that you are dealing with such funds or economic resources

  • make funds available to, or for the benefit of, a Designated person if it is known, or if you have reasonable cause to suspect, that you are making funds so available

  • make economic funds available to, or for the benefit of, a Designated person if it is known, or if you have reasonable cause to suspect, that you are making economic resources so available and/ or, in the case of making economic resources available to a designated person, that the Designated person would be likely to exchange the economic resources, or use them in exchange, for funds, goods or services

  1. Does the Isle of Man maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities? 

Yes. It is the government’s policy to maintain the sanctions lists so they are the same as those designated by HM Treasury in the UK.

  1. Are there any other lists related to sanctions? 

Yes. The lists generated by the Department for International Trade and the Home Office in the UK are relevant. Other sources of sanctions include the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) in the United States. Whilst the sanctions imposed by OFAC may differ from those imposed by the EU or UK, and if so would have no legal effect in the Isle of Man, because of the extra-territorial effect of the US measures, and their implications for international banking using the dollar, any business has to take note of them.

  1. Does the Isle of Man have a licensing or authorization system in place? 

Yes. The Treasury, through the Customs and Excise department, is responsible for licensing exemptions to financial sanctions. Applications must be made for a license to release funds from frozen accounts, or to make funds, economic resources or financial services available to or for the benefit of a designated individual or entity. The Treasury may also issue general licences that apply to all individuals or entities designated under a particular regime.

The Treasury can only issue licences where there are specific and relevant licensing grounds (which are narrowly interpreted) enabling them to do so and where the conditions in those grounds have been met.

Licences cannot be issued retrospectively and UK licences do not automatically take effect in the Isle of Man.

  1. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in the Isle of Man? 

It is a criminal offence to breach a financial sanction without an appropriate license or authorization from the Treasury. The penalties for breaching sanctions can vary across the various regimes. However, in general terms, any individual found guilty of an offence shall be liable on conviction on information to imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven years and/or an unlimited fine. The maximum penalty on summary conviction is generally up to 12 months custody and/or £5,000 fine.

Bodies corporate, partnerships and unincorporated associations acting in breach of financial sanctions can also commit a criminal offence and be liable to an unlimited fine. Where an offence has been committed by any such entity and it is proven to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or neglect on the part of, any officer, which includes but is not limited to a director, manager, secretary, registered agent, partner, member (where members manage the affairs of the entity) or similar officer, or any individual who was purporting to act in any such capacity, that individual, as well as the relevant entity, is guilty of an offence and can be imprisoned or fined.

Any individual found guilty of an offence under the Anti-Terrorism & Crime Act 2003 for dealings with a terrorist organization is liable on conviction on information to imprisonment for up to 14 years and/or an unlimited fine.

  1. Who are the relevant regulators in the Isle of Man and what are their contact details?

The main regulator is Customs and Excise, which acts as agent for the Treasury.

The Sanctions Officer
Customs and Excise Division, PO Box 6
Custom House, North Quay
Douglas, IM99 1AG
Isle of Man

T: (+44) 1624 648138
E: customs@gov.im
W: www.gov.im/categories/tax-vat-andyour-money/customs-and-excise/


The Financial Services Authority is responsible for ensuring that regulated firms have adequate systems and controls in place to comply with Isle of Man Sanctions requirements.

Financial Services Authority
PO Box 58
Finch Hill House
Bucks Road
Douglas
IM99 1DT
Isle of Man

T: (+44) 1624 689300
F: (+44) 1624 689398
E: info@iomfsa.im
http://www.iomfsa.im/

Contributor law firm

Mark Holligon, Appleby, 33-37 Athol Street, Douglas, IM1 1LB

T: (+44) 1624 647 691
F: (+44) 1624 620 992
MHolligon@applebyglobal.com
www.applebyglobal.com