Sectoral laws and regulations

Most states also require sectoral laws and regulations to enable national implementation through their specialized agencies. Specific rules and regulations are required for trade control authorities, for financial regulators or border control, customs and immigration authorities. Special relevance for the implementation of sanctions should cover the following subjects:

  • Definition of what constitutes military material, dual use equipment or criteria for the Catch-All Provision;
  • End-use certification and authentication of end-use certificates;
  • Rules for the issuance and verification of bill of lading, airway bill and other transport consignment instruments;
  • Formulation of pre-shipment risk-assessments and due diligence frameworks for end-users and shippers and their licensing;
  • Regulations for transshipment and post-shipment inspections;
  • Laws and oversight norms for free trade zones;
  • Standards for handling, storage and destruction of arms and ammunition; and
  • Standards for marking and registering of arms and ammunition.

These issues are also partly reflected in the evolving international legal instruments. An important contribution to international law governing all aspects of the trade in conventional arms is the new Arms Trade Treaty that came into force on 24 December 2014. Article 6 of the Arms Trade Treaty dealing with

“prohibitions” provides sanctions-specific rules.

Article 6 of the Arms Trade Treaty

1. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) or of items covered under Article 3 or Article 4, if the transfer would violate its obligations under measures adopted by the United Nations Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular arms embargoes.

2. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) or of items covered under Article 3 or Article 4, if the transfer would violate its relevant international obligations under international agreements to which it is a Party, in particular those relating to the transfer of, or illicit trafficking in, conventional arms.

3. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) or of items covered under Article 3 or Article 4, if it has knowledge at the time of authorization that the arms or items would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, attacks directed against civilian objects or civilians protected as such, or other war crimes as defined by international agreements to which it is a Party.