1. Does India have a sanctions regime in place?
Yes, the Government of India implements sanctions by way of notifications from time to time. These sanctions may be against specific individuals, organizations, or countries. The sanctions imposed by India can generally be classified into two categories: (i) trade / economic sanctions in respect of exports from and imports into India and (ii) sanctions relating to the security and integrity of India. India has economic sanctions in place targeting Iraq, Iran, Somalia and North Korea. Recently, as a result of the border disputes with China, the Government of India has introduced various economic sanctions against China, including banning the use of certain Chinese technology applications in India.
2. Does India implement UN sanctions?
Yes, the Indian Government may implement UN sanctions through the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1947 (“UNSCA”). Under the UNSCA, the Government of India is authorized to take any measures to give effect to any decision of the UN security council.
3. Does India implement an autonomous sanctions regime?
4. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in India?
Sanctions imposed by the UN may be implemented by the Indian Government through notifications.
The most frequently applied measures in India are: arms embargoes; embargoes on nuclear related and ballistic missile related materials; or embargoes on other UN-specified goods or materials.
5. Does India maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?
While India does not have a consolidated list of sanctions, the Indian sanctions regime targets individuals and entities that have been listed by the UN, namely in the ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaeda Sanctions List and the Taliban Sanctions List.
Further, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (“UAPA”) (which grants powers to the specified authorities to prevent, monitor and report suspected and identified unlawful activities), the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, (“MHA”) has issued the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism (Implementation of Security Council Resolutions) Order, 2009 (“2009 Order”). Pursuant to the 2009 Order, the MHA has notified a list of individuals, groups, and organizations which are suspected of being, or are classified as terrorist organizations (“Sanctioned Persons”). The list of Sanctioned Persons is amended by the MHA and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India (“MEA”) from time to time.
6. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?
Chapter 2 of the Foreign Trade Policy (“FTP”) provides a list of economic sanctions imposed against countries and regions. Some of the key sanctions set out in Chapter 2 of the FTP are set out below:
(i) the import/export of Arms and related material from/to Iraq is ‘Prohibited’. However, export of Arms and related material to Government of Iraq is permitted subject to a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Department of Defence Production. (ii) Trade with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Daesh), Al Nusrah Front (ANF) and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al Qaida has been prohibited. (iii) Direct or indirect import/export from/to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, import of charcoal form Somalia is prohibited. (iv) Direct or indirect import to Iran or import of specified items, materials or goods from Iran is restricted.
7. Does India have a licensing or authorization system in place?
Yes. The FTP and certain other sector-specific regulations restrict or regulate the import and/or export of certain goods and/or services and require that such export or import may be made in accordance with an authorisation, permission or license granted by the Director General of Foreign Trade (“DGFT”) or the relevant regulator. The prohibitions and restrictions on foreign trade may be product specific, entity specific, or country specific.
8. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in India?
Where any person attempts, makes or abets the carrying out of any import or export in contravention of the provisions of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 (the “Act”) and the FTP, that person will be liable to a penalty of not less than INR 10,000 and not more than five times the value of the goods or services or technology in respect of which any contravention is made or attempted to be made, whichever is more. The person may also be liable to a penalty under the Customs Act 1962 which includes imprisonment.
Without prejudice to any other penalty which may be imposed, in the case of a contravention relating to specified goods, services or technologies (as defined in the Act), the penalty will be in accordance with the provisions of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act 2005, which includes imprisonment.
Further, the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 which regulates the exchange control regime in India provides that if a person contravenes any provision of FEMA or any rule, regulation, notification, direction or order issued under FEMA, then such person shall, upon adjudication, be liable to a penalty up to thrice the sum involved in such contravention where such amount is quantifiable, or up to two lakh rupees where the amount is not quantifiable, and where such contravention is a continuing one, further penalty which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day after the first day during which the contravention continues.
9. Who are the relevant regulators in India and what are their contact details?
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade, within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Indian Government, is responsible for advising the Indian central government on the formulation of the FTP, which stipulates the sanctions regime in India. The DGFT is also responsible for carrying out the FTP and implementing the provisions of the Act. Further, in all matters relating to the interpretation of the FTP, the decision of the DGFT is final and binding. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Udyog Bhawan, H-wing, Gate No-02, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi-110011 EPABX No. 011-23061562
Further, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India are responsible for the imposition of security sanctions under the provisions of the UAPA and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”). Ministry of Home Affairs Counter Terrorism And Counter Radicalization Division North Block New Delhi – 110001
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