1. Does Germany have a sanctions regime in place?
Yes. However, information on financial sanctions and legal acts are predominantly provided in German. The main legal acts can be retrieved in English as well. Among other sources, the following links can be used:
Außenwirtschaftsverordnung / Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_awv/index.html Außenwirtschaftsgesetz / Foreign Trade and Payments Act
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_awg/index.html The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (“BMWi”) in conjunction with Deutsche Bundesbank, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (“BAFA”), is responsible for the application of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act, the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance and the implementation of financial sanctions regarding the fight against the financing of terrorism.
The export of arms is additionally subject to the War Weapons Control Act and related ordinances. Germany has furthermore signed the Chemical Weapons Convention which has been implemented by the Act on Execution of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Deutsche Bundesbank administers the implementation of the freezing of funds. BAFA administers the implementation of freezing orders on economic resources and other assets.
2. Does Germany implement UN sanctions?
3. Does Germany implement an autonomous sanctions regime?
Section 4 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act allows for the implementation of autonomous regimes. This is done to: (i) guarantee the essential security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany, (ii) to prevent a disturbance of the peaceful coexistence of nations or (iii) to prevent a substantial disturbance to the foreign relations of the Federal Republic of Germany, (iv) to guarantee the public order or security of the Federal Republic of Germany within the meaning of Articles 36, 52(1) and Article 65(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union or (v) to counteract a danger to the coverage of vital needs in Germany or in parts of Germany and thereby to protect the health and life of human beings in accordance with Article 36 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Further legal transactions and actions can be restricted in order to implement (i) decisions of the Council of the European Union on economic sanctions in the field of Common Foreign and Security Policy, (ii) obligations of the Members States of the European Union which are provided for in directly applicable legal acts of the European Union to implement economic sanctions in the field of Common Foreign and Security Policy (iii) UN Security Council resolutions or to implement (iv) international agreements which the legislative bodies have approved in the form of a Federal act.
Usually Germany only implements sanctions which are based on EU-regulations or UN-resolutions, save for sanctions related to the export of arms.
4. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in Germany?
The sanctions regime in Germany described at point 3 above is implemented by ordinances. Restrictions or obligations can additionally be imposed by administrative act to avert a danger pertaining in an individual case to material interests of the state.
Where no national legislation is implemented, EU regulations can also apply directly.
5. Does Germany maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?
No. Germany relies on the EU consolidated list. Specific names can be checked against the EU sanctions list accessible via:
6. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?
The BAFA provides
- a list of goods which are subject to embargos, which can be accessed at: http://www.bafa.de/DE/Aussenwirtschaft/Ausfuhrkontrolle/Gueterlisten/gueterlisten_node.html
- a list of chemicals subject to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which can be accessed at: http://www.bafa.de/DE/Aussenwirtschaft/Chemiewaffenuebereinkommen/Chemikalienlisten/chemikalienlisten_node.html
- a list of countries to which embargos apply, which can be accessed at: http://www.bafa.de/DE/Aussenwirtschaft/Ausfuhrkontrolle/Embargos/embargos_node.html
- Deutsche Bundesbank provides a list of countries to which financial sanctions apply, which can be accessed at: https://www.bundesbank.de/de/service/finanzsanktionen/sanktionsregimes/sanktionsregimes-738198
7. Does Germany have a licensing or authorization system in place?
Section 8 of the Foreign Trade and Payment Act provides for the issuing of licences. The Foreign Trade and Payments Act, or any ordinance issued on the basis of it, may state that a license is required for a transaction or action.
8. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in Germany?
Section 17 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act states that a prison sentence of between one and ten years can be imposed on anyone who violates an ordinance which serves to implement a UN or EU sanction if this violation is related to specific goods listed in part 1 of the export list. Section 18 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Acts states that a prison sentence of between three months and five years can be imposed on anyone who violates other provisions of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act or the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance. In specific cases, only fines may be charged.
9. Who are the relevant regulators in Germany and what are their contact details?
Competent authority for funds, financing and financial assistance: Deutsche Bundesbank Servicezentrum Finanzsanktionen D-80281 München T: (+49) 89 2889 3800 F: (+49) 69 709097 3800 W: https://www.bundesbank.de/de/service/finanzsanktionen/finanzsanktionen-609138
Competent authority for goods, economic resources, technical assistance, brokering services, services and investments:
Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle (BAFA) Frankfurter Strasse 29 – 35 D-65760 Eschborn T: (+49) 61 96 908 0 F: (+49) 61 96 908 800 W: www.bafa.de/DE/Service/Aufgabenuebersicht/_functions/aufgabenuebersicht.html?nn=8063562&cms_lv2=8065130
Contributor law firm
Dr. Tatjana Tscherevko, Principal Associate
Tobias Abersfelder, LL.M. Associate
Eversheds Sutherland (Germany) Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater Solicitors Partnerschaft mbB,
Brienner Straße 12,
Explore other countries
© Eversheds Sutherland 2021. All rights reserved. Eversheds Sutherland is a global provider of legal and other services operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. Eversheds Sutherland is the name and brand under which the members of Eversheds Sutherland Limited (Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP) and their respective controlled, managed and affiliated firms and the members of Eversheds Sutherland (Europe) Limited (each an "Eversheds Sutherland Entity" and together the "Eversheds Sutherland Entities") provide legal or other services to clients around the world. Eversheds Sutherland Entities are constituted and regulated in accordance with relevant local regulatory and legal requirements and operate in accordance with their locally registered names. The use of the name Eversheds Sutherland, is for description purposes only and does not imply that the Eversheds Sutherland Entities are in a partnership or are part of a global LLP. The responsibility for the provision of services to the client is defined in the terms of engagement between the instructed firm and the client.
Share this page