Global sanctions guide

  1. Does Laos have a sanctions regime in place?


  1. Does Laos implement UN sanctions?

The new Law on Anti-Money Laundering, Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (No. 49/NA, 21 July 2014) (the “AML Law”) which came into force in February 2015 defines the UN Charter as a charter relating to the terrorist sanctions list of individuals, groups, legal entities and organizations involved in international terrorism. Further, the AML Law provides that funds of terrorists, individuals and legal entities, including groups that fund terrorism and international terrorist organizations listed in resolutions S/RES/1267 (1999), S/RES/1373 (2001) and other resolutions of the UNSC shall be immediately confiscated and seized. The confiscation and seizure process is not provided in the AML Law; it only states that if there is lack of evidence or information involving an offence, money laundering, financing terrorism and participation in the said offences, the court can order sequestration of funds. In addition, financial and non-financial organizations considered as reporting units under the AML Law are prohibited to undertake business or transactions with individuals, legal entities or organizations listed in a UNSC resolution. However, implementation of these provisions is untested and not published.

  1. Does Laos implement an autonomous sanctions regime?

Implementation of sanctions, whether autonomous or not, is either untested and not published. There does not appear to be any legal basis on which the Lao PDR would be precluded from adopting an autonomous regime.

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

See above. In relation to money laundering, the adoption of the AML Law is part of the country’s FATF compliance programme, but implementation of this law remains untested.

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

This information is not publicly available.

  1. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?

This information is not publicly available.

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

Yes. Certain types of products require an export license issued by the Department of Import and Export (“DIMEX”) of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The license can be “automatic” or “nonautomatic” depending on the product. The rules and list of products which require licensing are found in Notification No. 0076/MOIC.DIMEX, 13 January 2012 of DIMEX. In addition, certain goods are prohibited and cannot be imported, exported, transited, sold or circulated in the Lao PDR. These are specified in Annex 1 of Notification regarding Prohibited Goods on Import or Export (No. 0973/DIMEX, 25 May 2011).

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

There is no specific offence that deals with a violation of any general requirement to observe or enforce the UN treaties referred to above. The AML Law provides that violating individuals, legal entities or organizations will be re-educated, disciplined, fined or punished with criminal charges depending on the severity of the case, and be liable to pay compensation of damages (it is thought that fines are payable to the government, although this cannot be confirmed as implementation of the AML Law is untested as yet). These consequences are vague and may be imposed specifically or in combination with one another at the discretion of the regulatory authorities.

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

The Department of Import and Export of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce issues import and export licences.

Phonexay Road
Ban Phonexay
Saysettha District
PO Box 4107
Vientiane Capital

T: (+856) 21 454 224
F: (+856) 21 454 224

The Customs Authorities under the Department of Customs of the Ministry of Finance.

W: or

Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Unit.

Bank of Laos
Xieng Yeun

The Department of Treaties and Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

23 Singha Road
Vientiane Capital

T: (+856) 454 340

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