The restrictive measures came into force on 14 November 2017 and include:
0.1 Arms embargo
The UK interprets the arms embargo as applying to all items on the UK Military List. There are related prohibitions on the provision of technical assistance, financing and financial assistance, brokering services, and other related services.
0.2 Prohibition on the supply of equipment which might be used for internal repression
There are related prohibitions on the provision of technical assistance, financing and financial assistance, brokering services, and other related services.
0.3 Equipment for monitoring communications
A licence will be required for the supply of equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications on mobile or fixed networks in Venezuela. The goods and technologies affected are listed in Annex II to Council Regulation 2017/2063. There are related prohibitions on the provision of technical assistance, financing and financial assistance and brokering services.
There is a prohibition on the provision of telecommunication or internet monitoring or interception services to Venezuela’s government or associated bodies.
The new sanctions permit Member States to authorise transactions, prohibited by the arms embargo, which concern the execution of a contract or an agreement concluded before 13 November 2017.
Licence applicants wishing to rely on these exemptions must notify the export control joint unit (ECJU) of the contract within 5 working days from the entry into force of the Regulation and provide a copy of the relevant contract or agreement in support of their licence application.
The existence of a relevant contract does not guarantee that a licence will be granted. Licence applications for military and dual-use items not prohibited by the new sanctions will continue to be assessed against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria in the usual way.
The export control joint unit (ECJU) is currently reviewing all extant export and trade control licences for Venezuela in light of the new EU sanctions. Any licence holders affected by these new measures will be contacted directly. We will provide further information in the next few days. We will also be amending the relevant open general export licences to remove Venezuela as a permitted destination.
Where can I find the list of restricted goods, technologies and services related to the monitoring or interception of Internet and telephone communications?
The technologies concerned are defined in Article 6 and 7 and Annex II of Council Regulation No 2017/2063.
What form do the restrictions on goods, technologies and services related to the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications take?
A licence is required for:
sale, supply, transfer or export of the listed technologies to Venezuela, or for any other country if the technologies are for use in Venezuela
provision of technical assistance, brokering services, financing and financial assistance related to the sale, supply, transfer or export of these technologies to Venezuela or for use in Venezuela
provision of telecommunication or internet monitoring or interception services to Venezuela’s government or associated entities.
A licence will not be granted for the above if there are reasonable grounds to determine that the equipment, technology, software or services would be used primarily for internal repression monitoring or interception, by Venezuela’s government, public bodies, corporations and agencies or any person or entity acting on their behalf or at their direction.
What date do the new restrictions come into force?
The restrictions came into force on 14 November 2017.
What information must I provide in support of a licence application?
You must provide full details of:
goods and/or technology you wish to export or service you wish to provide
consignee and, if different, the end-user of the goods as well as any third party involved in the transaction
intended end-use of the goods, including (where known) the project name and the location where the goods will be used
What happens then?
The ECJU will consider your application carefully against the terms of the EU sanctions. You may be asked to provide further information or clarification. You will be informed of the outcome of your application via the SPIRE system. The ECJU aims to deal with licence applications promptly, however because these are new restrictions we cannot at this time give an estimate as to how long it will take to process these applications.
How will Government ensure compliance?
We expect all UK companies to comply fully with the sanctions, and government is committed to helping businesses comply. HMRC and border force are responsible for ensuring compliance with export controls and trade sanctions and they have a range of measures available to them to ensure this. The unlicensed export of controlled goods is a criminal offence and serious and deliberate evasion of the controls may lead to prosecution.
Where can I get further information?
We are in the process of updating the sanctions pages on the gov.uk website. Further information about the ECJU, SPIRE and the export licensing process is available here.
While the government can give general advice and guidance about the scope of these new restrictions and how to comply with them, we cannot give legal advice – companies requiring legal advice should make their own arrangements.
0.5 Contact details
Export Control Joint Unit 2nd floor
3 Whitehall Place London SW1A 2AW