Global sanctions guide

New Zealand
  1. Does the Netherlands have a sanctions regime in place?

Yes, the Netherlands uses the EU framework for sanctions and thus implements sanctions set by both the EU and the UN. EU decisions, which mostly constitute instructions to member states, are converted into Dutch Law. The Netherlands sets these sanctions down in sanctions orders, based on the Sanctions Act 1977. EU Regulations are directly applicable in the Netherlands and if a national law is in conflict with EU Regulations, the latter will prevail. Sanctions set by the EU target a number of different countries and focus on individuals and entities that are either from or situated within those countries. When a sanctions order is established by law, those situated in the Netherlands are obliged to comply. This includes both individuals and companies as well
as international corporations that have offices situated in the Netherlands. The Sanctions Act 1977 has extra-territorial reach, and therefore also applies to Dutch nationals who breach the sanctions regime while abroad.

  1. Does the Netherlands implement UN sanctions?

Yes, Resolutions of the UNSC on sanction measures are converted into secondary EU law.

  1. Does the Netherlands implement an autonomous sanctions regime?

Yes, the Netherlands implements an autonomous sanctions regime, relying on the sanctions set up by the UNSC, the EU, other jurisdictions such as the US, and implementing sanctions without prior action from the UN or the EU. The latter types of sanctions are often targeted at individuals who are directly or indirectly connected with terrorism within the Netherlands, or may be in respect of particular regimes (whose actions have affected the Netherlands).

  1. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands enacts legislation that allows for the implementation of EU and UN sanctions. Sanctions can include arms embargoes, embargoes on specific goods, financial sanctions that put restrictions on loans and credit, asset freezes of certain people and companies as well as travel and visa restrictions for certain individuals.

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

Yes, the Netherlands maintains a list of sanctioned individuals and entities based on national law. The Netherlands also uses an up-to-date EU list of organizations and people subject to financial sanctions. The list itself also contains references to specific regulations which contain restrictions.

  1. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?

Based on the Sanctions Act 1977, the Netherlands may implement international rules on sanctioned countries, persons or specific sectors into Dutch regulations. Another related list is the UN sanctions committees list relating to terrorism. The list includes all of the individuals and entities that are targeted by sanctions and measures that are enforced and imposed by the UNSC.

  1. Does the Netherlands have a licensing or authorization system in place?

Yes. The Central Import and Export Office (“CDIU”) is responsible for the licensing and authorization of the export, import and travel of goods and services. The CDIU itself issues licences for the import and export of these strategic goods and services.

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

Consequences for breaching EU sanctions for an individual include either a fine, imprisonment or both. For a company, the entity itself will be fined along with the directors and/or officers involved being fined and/or imprisoned as a result of the breach of EU sanctions. The Sanctions Act 1977 states the statutory maximum of fines.

  1. Who are the relevant regulators in the Netherlands and what are their contact details?

The Central Import and Export Office is responsible for the information on and issuing of licences for import and export of goods and services. Licensing Office at Tax and Customs Service / Central Import and Export Service (CDIU) Kempkensberg 12, Groningen.

Central Import and Export Office (CDIU)
P.O. Box 30003
NL-9700 RD Groningen

T: (+31) 88 151 21 22

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance are responsible for financial sanctions. For both Ministries:

T: (+31) 77 465 67 67

De Nederlandsche Bank and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets are responsible for the administration and supervision of, and compliance with the rules set on financial transactions.

De Nederlandsche Bank

T: (+31) 20 524 91 11

Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets

T: (+31) 20 797 20 00

The Public Prosecution service, the police and other special enforcement officers oversee enforcement of the laws set.

Public Prosecution Service

T: (+31) 88 699 12 00

The Sanction Acts 1977 mentions the following regulators:

The Customs Authority (Team POSS) organises customs controls, and checks the compliance of companies in the fields of sanctions legislation.

T: (+31) 80 0014 3

(FIOD) investigates criminal offences regarding export legislation.

T: (+31) 88 155 16 00

Other organisations that can also be involved in carrying out the Sanctions Act 1977:

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency acts as an informal contact for queries about international business. It also advises on export control policies.

T: (+31) 59 233 29 11

The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) investigates weapons of mass destruction and provides information on the reliability of certain foreign organizations and individuals.

Contributor law firm

Manish Bahl, Eversheds Sutherland (Netherlands) B.V, Cuserstraat 85a, 1081 CN Amsterdam, Postbus/PO Box 7902, 1008 AC Amsterdam, Netherlands

T: (+31) 20 5600 663
F: (+31) 20 5600 500