Find out more about sanctions in the UN Security Council and in the European Union, the Belgian sanctions policy, and the contact details of the Belgian authorities responsible for applying restrictive measures in the European Union.

Belgian sanction policy

Belgium, as a member state of the United Nations and the European Union, has the obligation of implementing the various sanction regimes. The European regulations are directly applicable in Belgium. At the national level, the FPS Finance and Economy are responsible for the application of the various sanction regimes.
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If both a UN and an EU sanctions regime are in force simultaneously, the EU regime should be followed as it implements the UN sanctions regime and can never be less strict than the UN regime.

Belgium has always believed that sanctions can be a useful instrument. Our country's sanctions policy is based on the following principles.

Belgium promotes so-called "smart" sanctions. To achieve the objectives pursued, sanctions must reach the right people and the right products. Moreover, exceptions for humanitarian aid, medicines and food products must be provided for. Belgium is consequently not advocating comprehensive sanctions, such as sanctions in the financial sector, which often affect all commercial trade without distinction. Exceptionally, however, such sanctions may be necessary when more targeted sanctions appear insufficient.

Belgium attaches great importance to coordination with non-EU countries. Such coordination contributes to increased efficiency of the sanctions since their impact is greater if more countries apply them. Such coordination also makes it possible to prevent EU companies from being immediately replaced by businesses from non-EU countries.

Sanctions must be clear and applicable by all authorities, companies and individuals. It is very important that the individuals and entities targeted by sanctions are clearly identified and that the reasons leading to their inclusion on the sanctions list are clear and well-motivated. Easy application also leads to greater flexibility when responding to possible developments on the ground.

For Belgium, it is crucial that the objectives pursued are clearly established at the time of the adoption of a sanctions regime. What change in behaviour is expected from the sanctioned country? Furthermore, an exit strategy ensures more clarity and predictability. It is therefore important to establish a number of criteria which will serve as benchmarks for the adaptation or removal of the sanctions regime.

For more information

  • contact details of the Belgian authorities in charge of the implementation of the different types of sanctions;
  • legal basis in Belgium for the application of EU sanctions;
  • website of FPS Finance which deals specifically with financial sanctions, where exemptions are usually possible.

If you cannot find an answer to your questions via the above contact addresses, you can send an e-mail to Please not that the address above should only be used for technical issues concerning the concrete application of sanctions regimes in Belgium.