Introduction to Financial Sanctions 

What are Financial Sanctions?

Financial Sanctions are restrictive measures imposed on individuals or entities in an effort to curtail their activities and to exert pressure and influence on them. These restrictive measures include but are not limited to financial sanctions, trade sanctions, restrictions on travel or civil aviation restrictions. The EU implements restrictive measures autonomously at an EU level, or as a result of binding resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations through the publication of EU Financial Sanctions Regulations.

The Central Bank of Ireland (the 'Central Bank') is listed as one of the Competent Authorities for Ireland in the Annexes to the EU Financial Sanctions Regulations, and is responsible for the administration and enforcement of relevant aspects of financial sanctions in Ireland. Financial sanctions are primarily concerned with curtailing the movement of payments and capital. In accordance with EU law, Ireland adheres to the list of sanctioned individuals and entities prescribed by the EU.

The other Irish Competent Authorities for EU Restrictive Measures are:

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Targeted financial sanctions related to terrorism and proliferation.

Ireland must implement targeted financial sanctions to comply with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions relating to the prevention, suppression and disruption of terrorism and terrorist financing. Ireland must also comply with UNSC resolutions relating to the prevention, suppression and disruption of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its financing.

These UNSC resolutions require Ireland to freeze without delay the funds or assets of any listed person or entity, and to ensure that no funds and other assets are made available, directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit of, any such person or entity listed.  

An overview of EU Sanctions is available here. The Electronic List of the Financial Sanctions in force is on the right in the above link.

Details on the UN Sanctions can be found here. The consolidated UN Security Council Sanctions List is on the left in the above link.

The Al-Qaida Sanctions list can be found here.


Role of the Central Bank of Ireland

The Minister for Finance publishes Statutory Instruments under domestic legislation – such as the European Communities Act, 1972 (as amended), the Financial Transfers Act, 1992 and the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act, 2005 – which empower the Central Bank in the administration and enforcement of the financial sanctions aspects of the restrictive measures. The Central Bank may, in the exercise of these powers, give directions or issue instructions as it sees fit.

Domestic Statutory Instruments

The Statutory Instruments implemented by the Minister for Finance, which give effect to the various EU Regulations relating to sanctions, may be viewed by clicking


It is the responsibility of all individuals and institutions to ensure that they are in compliance with current sanctions and related legislation. To assist, the EU has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions on EU restrictive measures which will be of benefit to firms.

A list of EU sanctions, to which these Guidelines apply, is available here

However, for more recent issues, and other language versions, of the Official Journal see:

[Provided subject to the European Commission legal notice at]

Pursuant to EU Financial Sanctions Regulations all natural and legal persons, entities and bodies are required to immediately supply any information which would facilitate compliance with such Regulations to the Central Bank.  This includes information relating to accounts or assets which have been frozen pursuant to EU Financial Sanctions Regulations. 


Notifications or enquiries should be submitted to the Central Bank using the contact details below:

Financial Sanctions Unit, 

Anti-Money Laundering Division,

Central Bank of Ireland,
Block D,
Iveagh Court,
Harcourt Road,
Dublin 2.

Tel: +353 1 224 5214