International sanctions and export controls

International sanctions are political instruments that can be imposed by the United Nations, the European Union and on a national level in order to punish or steer the behaviour of certain countries and groups. International sanctions generally consist of trade sanctions and financial sanctions. Trade sanctions relate to trade in specific goods and related services, such as dual-use items and military goods, arms embargoes or trade with government institutions or state-owned companies. Financial sanctions mainly relate to financial services and the freezing of funds and economic resources.

International sanctions are becoming more and more important in international politics, often with major, immediate, consequences for business. A few examples are trade with countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Sudan and many others.

Export controls refers to the controls and restrictions on import and export of strategic goods to and from the Netherlands  or Europe for reasons of national or international security, foreign policy, anti-terrorism, crime fighting and non-proliferation. Export controls apply to specific goods, regardless of the exact destination of the goods. The strategic goods to which export controls relate, can be divided into (i) dual-use items and (ii) military items. Dual-use items are items that can be used for both military and civil purposes and the export of such goods is restricted under strict EU legislation. For the export of military items strict national regulations apply. Under circumstances there can be a certain overlap between international sanctions and export controls. This applies in particular if sanctions apply to strategic goods, such as an arms embargo of further restrictions relating to dual-use items. This creates an often complex legal landscape, in which it can be difficult to navigate your company.

BenninkAmar Advocaten holds the most prominent experts in these areas of law. They can assist you with, amongst others:

  • drafting export management and compliance programs (EMCPs) and related procedures;
  • providing export and sanctions training to staff, management and the board, if requested also by means of an e-learning tool;
  • transaction advice;
  • third party screening and transactions screening;
  • practical compliance tools for sanctions and export controls;
  • general sanctions and export controls advice;
  • advice on license obligations;
  • assistance in license procedures;
  • conducting appeals in case of rejected license applications;
  • assistance in voluntary self-disclosures;
  • internal investigations with regard to sanctions and export controls;
  • assistance in criminal investigations regarding sanctions and export controls; 
  • representation in criminal court cases on sanctions and export controls.

BenninkAmar Advocaten furthermore disposes of an international network of excellent law firms specialised in international sanctions and export controls, including in the United States.