Introduction to EU Financial Sanctions 

What are Sanctions

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.

An overview of EU Sanctions is available here

Details on the UN Sanctions Committees can be found here

The Central Bank of Ireland (the 'Central Bank') is listed as one of the Competent Authorities for Ireland in the Annexes to the EU Regulations, and is responsible for the administration and enforcement of financial sanctions. 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 are

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

Role of the Central Bank of Ireland

The Minister for Finance makes Regulations 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 here


It is the responsibility of all individuals and institutions to ensure that they are in compliance with current sanctions and related legislation. The EU has prepared Sanctions Guidelines and a Best Practices paper, to assist in the implementation and enforcement of Sanctions.

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

When notifying the Central Bank of freezing action pursuant to EU Financial Sanctions Regulations please use the Notification of Asset Freezing Form which is available here.

Contact details:

Financial Sanctions Unit,
Anti-Money Laundering Division,
Block D,
Iveagh Court,
Harcourt Road,
Dublin 2.

Tel: +353 1 224 5214 Email: