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Accueil » Belarus

Belarus

Status of the embargoOngoing
EntityState
Organisation(s) imposing embargo(es)EU
Restriction(s)Conventional weapons 
​Internal repression
Dual use
Surveillance equipment
ExceptionsYes, no prior notification or approval
Yes, prior notification
Yes, prior approval

Belarus is currently under EU arms embargo.

EU

Belarus has been under EU arms embargo since June 2011 (Council Decision 2011/357/CFSP). On 24 June 2021, the EU imposed further targeted economic sanctions aimed at implementing the conclusions of the European Council of 24th and 25 May 2021 following the unlawful forced landing of an intra-EU Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on 23 May 2021 (Council Decision 2021/1031/CFSP).

In view of the involvement of Belarus in the Russian aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, the Council adopted on 2 March 2022 the Decision 2022/356/CFSP and Regulation 2022/355, amending Decision 2012/642/CFSP and Regulation 765/2006 and imposing further restrictive measures related to the trade of dual-use goods and technology as well as other goods that might contribute to Belarus’s military, technological, defence and security development.

Decision 2022/881/CFSP and Decision 2022/882/CFSP amend Annex I and Annex V of Decision 2012/642/CFSP by adding an updated list of legal persons, entities and bodies subject to the restrictive measures.

  1. Conventional weapons

Prohibitions

The current sanctions regime, as detailed in Decision 2012/642/CFSP and specified in Regulation 765/2006, in their consolidated versions, prohibits :

  • “The sale, supply, transfer or export of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and spare parts for the aforementioned, […] to Belarus by nationals of Member States or from the territories of Member States or using their flag vessels or aircraft, shall be prohibited whether originating or not in their territories” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.1, para.1).
  • To “sell, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, firearms, their parts and essential components and ammunition as listed in Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 258/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and firearms and other arms as listed in Annex VI to this Decision, whether or not originating in the Union, to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.1a, para.1, and Regulation 765/2006, art.1ba, para.1).

The sanctions regime also prohibits the provision of “technical assistance, brokering services or other services related” to the above-mentioned items and “the provision, manufacture, maintenance and use of those goods, directly or indirectly to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.1, para.2, (a) and art.1a, para.2, (b)), as well as to “provide, directly or indirectly, financing or financial assistance” to the above-mentioned items (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.1, para.2, (b) and art.1a, para. 2, (b), and Regulation  765/2006, art.1ba, para.2, (a) and (b)).

Exceptions

The sanctions regime includes several exceptions for conventional weapons.

No prior approval or notification required:

  • “protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to Belarus by UN personnel, personnel of the Union or its Member States, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, for their personal use only” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2, para.2, and Regulation 765/2006, art.1a, para.2 and art.1b, para. 3).

Requiring prior approval from the relevant competent authority:

  • “sale, supply, transfer or export of non-lethal military equipment or of equipment which might be used for internal repression, intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, or for institution building programmes of the United Nations (UN) and the Union, or for EU and UN crisis management operations” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2, para.1, (a), and Regulation 765/2006, art.1a, para.2, (a)).
  • “sale, supply, transfer or export of non-combat vehicles which have been manufactured or fitted with materials to provide ballistic protection, intended solely for protective use of personnel of the Union and its Member States in Belarus”(Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2, para.1, (b)).
  • “provision of technical assistance, brokering services and other services related to such equipment or to such programmes and operations” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2, para.1, (c)).

2. Equipment likely to be used for internal repression

Prohibitions

The current sanctions regime, as detailed in Decision 2012/642/CFSP and specified in Regulation 765/2006, in their consolidated versions, prohibits:

  • “The sale, supply, transfer or export of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and spare parts for the aforementioned, as well as equipment which might be used for internal repression, to Belarus by nationals of Member States or from the territories of Member States or using their flag vessels or aircraft, shall be prohibited whether originating or not in their territories” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.1, para.1, and Regulation 765/2006, art.1a, para.1, (a)). These equipment are listed in Annex III of Regulation 765/2006.

The sanctions regime also prohibits “to provide, directly or indirectly, technical assistance or brokering services related to equipment which might be used for internal repression as listed in Annex III, to any person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus”(Regulation 765/2006, art.1b, para.1, (b))

Exceptions

The sanctions regime includes several exceptions for equipment that may be used for internal repression.

Not requiring prior approval or notification:

  • “protective clothing, including flak jackets and helmets, temporarily exported to Belarus by United Nations (UN) personnel, personnel of the Union or its Member States, representatives of the media or humanitarian and development workers and associated persons exclusively for their personal use” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2, para.2, and Regulation 765/2006, art.1a, para.2 and art.1b, para.3).

Requiring prior approval from the relevant competent authority :

  • “sale, supply, transfer or export of non-lethal military equipment or of equipment which might be used for internal repression, intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, or for institution building programmes of the United Nations (UN) and the Union, or for EU and UN crisis management operations” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2, para.1, (a), and Regulation 765/2006, art.1a, para.2, (a)).
  • “sale, supply, transfer or export of non-combat vehicles which have been manufactured or fitted with materials to provide ballistic protection, intended solely for protective use of personnel of the Union and its Member States in Belarus”(Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2, para.1, (b)).
  • “provision of technical assistance, brokering services and other services related to such equipment or to such programmes and operations” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2, para.1, (c)).

3. Dual-use goods

Prohibitions

The current sanctions regime, as detailed in Decision 2012/642/CFSP, specified by Regulation 765/2006, in their consolidated versions, prohibits:

  • “the direct or indirect sale, supply, transfer or export of all dual-use goods and technology listed in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 2021/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 2 ) to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus by nationals of Member States or from the territories of Member States or using their flag vessels or aircraft shall be prohibited, whether such goods and technology originate or not in their territories” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2c, para.1, and Regulation 765/2006, art.1e, para.1).

The sanctions regime also prohibits ”to provide technical assistance, brokering services or other services related to the goods and technology referred to in paragraph 1, or to the provision, manufacture, maintenance and use of those goods and technology, directly or indirectly to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus;” and “to provide financing or financial assistance related to the goods and technology referred to in paragraph 1 for any sale, supply, transfer or export of those goods and technology, or for the provision of related technical assistance, brokering services or other services, directly or indirectly to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2c, para.2, (a) and (b), and Regulation 765/2006, art.1e, para.2 (a) and (b)).

Exceptions

The sanctions regime provides for several exceptions for dual-use goods.

Following notification to customs, the above-mentioned prohibitions do not apply to “the sale, supply, transfer or export of dual-use goods and technology or to the related provision of technical or financial assistance, for non-military use and for a non-military end-user, intended for:

  • humanitarian purposes, health emergencies, the urgent prevention or mitigation of an event likely to have a serious and significant impact on human health and safety or on the environment or as a response to natural disasters;
  • medical or pharmaceutical purposes
  • temporary export of items for use by news media;
  • software updates;
  • use as consumer communication devices; or
  • personal use of natural persons travelling to Belarus or members of their immediate families travelling with them, and limited to personal effects, household effects, vehicles or tools of trade owned by those individuals and not intended for sale” (the latter exception does not require prior notification to customs). (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2c, para.3, (a) to (f), and Regulation 765/2006, art.1e, para.3, (a) to (f)).

With the authorization of the competent authority, the sanctions regime also provides that States may authorize “the sale, supply, transfer or export of dual-use goods and technology or the provision of related technical or financial assistance, for non-military use and for a non-military end-user, after having determined that such goods or technology or the related technical or financial assistance are:

  • intended for cooperation between the Union, the governments of Member States and the government of Belarus in purely civilian matters;
  • intended for intergovernmental cooperation in space programmes;
  • intended for the operation, maintenance, fuel retreatment and safety of civil nuclear capabilities, as well as civil nuclear cooperation, in particular in the field of research and development;
  • intended for maritime safety;
  • intended for civilian non-publicly available electronic communications networks which are not the property of an entity that is publicly controlled or with over 50 % public ownership;
  • intended for the exclusive use of entities owned, or solely or jointly controlled, by a legal person, entity or body which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State or of a partner country;
  • intended for the diplomatic representations of the Union, Member States and partner countries, including delegations, embassies and missions; or
  • intended for ensuring cyber-security and information security for natural and legal persons, entities and bodies in Belarus except for its government and undertakings directly or indirectly controlled by that government” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2c, para.4, (a) to (h), and Regulation 765/2006, art 1e, para. 4 (a) to (h)).
  • “the sale, supply, transfer or export of dual-use goods and technology or the provision of related technical or financial assistance, for non-military use and for a non-military end-user, after having determined that such goods or technology or such related technical or financial assistance are due under contracts concluded before 3 March 2022, or ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such a contract, provided that the authorisation is requested before 1 May 2022” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2c, para.5).

4. Surveillance equipment

Prohibitions

The current sanctions regime, as detailed in Decision 2012/642/CFSP, and specified by Regulation 765/2006, in their consolidated versions, prohibits:

  • “the direct or indirect sale, supply, transfer or export to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Belarus, or for use in Belarus, of equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in the monitoring or interception by, or on behalf of, the Belarusian authorities of the internet and of telephone communications on mobile or fixed networks, including the provision of any telecommunication or internet monitoring or interception services of any kind, as well as the provision of financial and technical assistance to install, operate or update such equipment, technology or software, by nationals of Member States or from the territories of Member States shall be prohibited” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2b, para.1, and Regulation 765/2006, art.1c, para.1). This equipment is listed in Annex IV of Regulation 765/2006.

The sanctions regime also prohibits any form of technical assistance in the use of such software and technologies (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art. 2b, para.1, and Regulation 765/2006, art. 1d, para. 1, (a)).

Exceptions

The sanctions regime makes an exception for surveillance equipment requiring notification to other Member States and the Commission:

  • “the sale, supply, transfer or export of the equipment, technology or software, including the provision of any telecommunication or internet monitoring or interception services of any kind, as well as the related provision of financial and technical assistance, referred to in paragraph 1 if they have reasonable grounds to determine that the equipment, technology or software would not be used for repression by the Belarusian Government, public bodies, corporations or agencies, or any natural or legal person or entity acting on their behalf or at their direction” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2b, para.2, and Regulation 765/2006, art. 2ter, para.2 a contrario).

5. Others prohibitions

Prohibitions on goods and technologies likely to contribute to the military and technological strengthening of Belarus

The current sanctions regime, as detailed in Decision 2012/642/CFSP, and specified by Regulation 765/2006, in their consolidated versions, also prohibits :

  • “to sell, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, goods and technology which might contribute to the military and technological enhancement of Belarus, or to the development of its defence and security sector, whether or not originating in the Union, to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2d, para.1 and Regulation 765/2006, art.1f, para.1). These goods and technologies are listed in Annex Va of Regulation 765/2006. It is also prohibited to provide technical assistance, brokering services, financing or financial aid in relation to these goods and technologies (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2d, para. 2, (a) and (b), and Regulation 765/2006, art.1f, para. 2, (a) and (b)).

Exceptions for goods and technologies likely to contribute to the military and technological strengthening of Belarus

The sanctions regime provides for several exceptions for goods and technologies likely to contribute to the military and technological strengthening of Belarus.

Following notification to customs, the above-mentioned prohibitions do not apply to “the sale, supply, transfer or export of dual-use goods and technology or to the related provision of technical or financial assistance, for non-military use and for a non-military end-user, intended for:

  • humanitarian purposes, health emergencies, the urgent prevention or mitigation of an event likely to have a serious and significant impact on human health and safety or on the environment or as a response to natural disasters;
  • medical or pharmaceutical purposes
  • temporary export of items for use by news media;
  • software updates;
  • use as consumer communication devices; or
  • personal use of natural persons travelling to Belarus or members of their immediate families travelling with them, and limited to personal effects, household effects, vehicles or tools of trade owned by those individuals and not intended for sale” (the latter exception does not require prior notification to customs). (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2c, para.3, (a) to (f), and Regulation 765/2006, art.1e, para.3, (a) to (f)).

With the authorization of the competent authority, the sanctions regime also provides that States may authorize “the sale, supply, transfer or export of dual-use goods and technology or the provision of related technical or financial assistance, for non-military use and for a non-military end-user, after having determined that such goods or technology or the related technical or financial assistance are:

  • intended for cooperation between the Union, the governments of Member States and the government of Belarus in purely civilian matters;
  • intended for intergovernmental cooperation in space programmes;
  • intended for the operation, maintenance, fuel retreatment and safety of civil nuclear capabilities, as well as civil nuclear cooperation, in particular in the field of research and development;
  • intended for maritime safety;
  • intended for civilian non-publicly available electronic communications networks which are not the property of an entity that is publicly controlled or with over 50 % public ownership;
  • intended for the exclusive use of entities owned, or solely or jointly controlled, by a legal person, entity or body which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State or of a partner country;
  • intended for the diplomatic representations of the Union, Member States and partner countries, including delegations, embassies and missions; or
  • intended for ensuring cyber-security and information security for natural and legal persons, entities and bodies in Belarus except for its government and undertakings directly or indirectly controlled by that government” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2c, para.4, (a) to (h), and Regulation 765/2006, art 1e, para. 4 (a) to (h)).
  • “the sale, supply, transfer or export of dual-use goods and technology or the provision of related technical or financial assistance, for non-military use and for a non-military end-user, after having determined that such goods or technology or such related technical or financial assistance are due under contracts concluded before 3 March 2022, or ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such a contract, provided that the authorisation is requested before 1 May 2022” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2c, para.5).

Prohibitions on goods and technologies suitable for use in the aviation and space industries

The current sanctions regime, as detailed in Decision 2012/642/CFSP, and specified by Regulation 765/2006, in their consolidated versions, also prohibits :

  • “to sell, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, goods and technology suited for use in aviation or the space industry, whether or not originating in the Union, to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Belarus or for use in Belarus” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.1sa, para.1, and Regulation 765/2006, art.1sa, para.1). All forms of technical assistance concerning these technologies and their uses are also prohibited (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.2sa, para.4, (a), and Regulation 765/2006, art.1sa, para.4, (a)).

Exceptions for goods and technologies suitable for use in the aviation or space industry

The sanctions regime stipulates that measures “shall not apply to the execution until 4 September 2023 of contracts concluded before 5 August 2023, or of ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts” (Decision 2012/642/CFSP, art.1sa, para.5, and Regulation 765/2006, art.1sa, para.5)

Others

In addition to these generally applicable measures, there are targeted sanctions in the financial field, concerning movements to or through the Union, against certain individuals or entities, listed in Annex I to Regulation 765/2006. This list was updated by Regulation 2022/353 in March 2022.

The restrictive measures adopted by the Union against Belarus have been extended until 28 February 2024 (Decision 2023/421/CFSP, art.1, para.1).

Restrictions diagram :

Conventional weapons 

Internal repression

Dual use

Surveillance equipment