Trade sanctions can be a difficult topic to discuss (and no less controversial). However, they also represent the toughest responsibilities of logistics companies and importers. No matter how small or inconsequential a trading partner may appear, compliance with these sanctions is s paramount.
These are not just a matter of ensuring the security of goods and assets. They are also about preserving the integrity of national security and protecting human lives.
Recently, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DAFTA) has circulated new, updated information regarding its list of sanctioned regimes. To date, there are now 21 entries on that list and it combines the sanctions from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) with those autonomously made by the Australian government.
Here is a brief overview on what these sanctions specifically impose:
- Restrictions on trade in goods and services.
- Targeted asset freezes on designated persons and entities.
- Restrictions on engaging in commercial activities.
- Travel bans on certain declared persons.
Understanding these sanctions requires an understanding of the security risks each sanctioned regime represents. These risks can be roughly categorised into the following:
On the 28th of September 2001, UNSC resolution 1373 (2001) was adopted in response to the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks. This historic resolution obliges all members of the U.N. to enforce counter-terrorism measures to combat the threat of radical militant groups and bar their entry to civilian areas. This further followed by additional resolutions and sanctions aimed at more specific groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIL.
Human Rights Violations
Some sanctions are aimed towards countries with governments reported for serious human rights abuses along with severe threats to democratic institutions. Among these are Libya, Russia, Myanmar and several others. These sanctions range from arms embargoes and financial sanctions to trade restrictions and travel bans.
These include nations who have been known to harbor weapons of mass destruction and pose a serious threat to the free world. A good example would obviously be North Korea. In fact, Australia firmly implements all UNCS sanctions to North Korea’s as specified in the Charter of the United Nations Regulations.
Law and Order
Countries known to have a complete breakdown of law and order also face sanctions as their political instability often attract terrorist, criminal and militant organisations. Nations imposed with these sanctions include the Central African Republic, Sudan, and Somalia just to name a few.
It is important to acknowledge that these regimes have used backdoor third parties for shuttling weapons, financial resources and notorious persons of interests all around the world. All these sanctions are an effective means to ensure that the shipping interests of Australian firms are not dragged into that mess.
Otherwise, the consequences could not only tarnish the integrity of your business but the infiltration of dangerous parties in terms of personnel, resources and assets. Make sure to always review your global supply chains and trading partners with these sanctions high up in the agenda because doing otherwise is very, very bad business.