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Sanctions breaches

Investigating breaches of sanctions within Australia

About this crime

Sanctions are restrictions on activities or trade, including the interruption of economic relations. They don't involve armed force.

Sanctions can look like:

  • restrictions on trade in goods and services
  • restrictions on engaging in commercial activities
  • targeted financial sanctions (including asset freezes) on designated people and entities
  • travel bans on certain people.

In Australia, we implement sanctions regimes from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and our own autonomous regimes. We do this under Australian sanctions laws:

  • Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011 (Cth)
  • Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 (Cth)
  • Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Cth).

These instruments are administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and its Australian Sanctions Office (ASO).

DFAT's role

The responsibilities of DFAT are outlined in the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 (Cth) and include:

  • Regulation 6 - Country-specific designation of persons or entities or declaration of persons
  • Regulation 22 - Consolidated list of entities, persons and assets.

As part of DFAT, the ASO maintains a list of all people and entities listed under Australian sanctions law, called the Consolidated List. It lists those who are subject to targeted financial sanctions.

Our role

We work with DFAT when dealing with and implementing sanctions. Our key role is gathering information about controlled assets relating to sanctions.

Under Regulation 23 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 (Cth), individuals can also ask for our help to determine whether an asset is owned or controlled by a designated person or entity.

How to report

Breaking Australia’s sanctions laws can be a serious criminal offence. Penalties range from substantial fines to up to 10 years imprisonment for individuals.

It is the responsibility of each individual to ensure they comply with the sanctions and act in accordance with these laws.

You should seek legal advice if you interact with a person or entity on the Consolidated List.

If you are or think you may be holding a controlled asset linked to a listed person or entity, seek legal advice and

contact the ASO

You can also ask for our help to determine whether it is a controlled asset. After receiving a request, we will use our best endeavours to help you. Contact our National Operations State Service Centre in the state or territory where you are based.

If you suspect anyone of acting in contravention of Australia’s sanctions laws, you have a legal obligation to report it to us. Tell us as soon as possible

Report a crime form

We also work alongside the Australian Border Force to enforce sanctions law and investigate breaches of sanctions legislation.

Get in touch

NOSSC Canberra (ACT)

Canberra office

GPO Box 401
Canberra ACT 2601

NOSSC Central Command (SA/NT)

Adelaide and Darwin offices

PO Box 200
Kent Town SA 5071

NOSSC Eastern Command (NSW)

Sydney office

Locked Bag A3000
Sydney South NSW 1232

NOSSC Northern Command (Qld)

Brisbane, Cairns and Gold Coast offices

PO Box 920
Spring Hill QLD 4004

NOSSC Southern Command (Vic/Tas)

Melbourne and Hobart offices

GPO Box 485
Melbourne VIC 3001

NOSSC Western Command (WA)

Perth office

PO Box 586
West Perth WA 6872