Current Arms Embargoes and Other Restrictions

This section outlines the UK's international commitments on export controls. It details current arms embargoes and other relevant restrictions in force with respect to specific countries, on all countries or on terrorist organizations.

Arms Embargoes

This list below details specific countries where there are sanctions which have been imposed or changed by the UN, EU and others and where the UK has imposed regulations as a result.

NOTE: Some goods which are not on the UK Military List may need an export licence under the military end-use control. All the countries indicated by a * are subject to military end-use controls.

Lifted Embargoes Rwanda

Other restrictions

Exporters should be aware that there is a wider list of countries that are subject to other types of restrictions.

In particular the ECO is concerned with the following restrictions:

Restrictions for the maintenance of Regional Peace and Stability
West African States
  • Comprising: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Cote D’Ivore (Ivory Coast), Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo
  • Each of these 15 countries forms part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is a regional group founded in 1975 to promote economic integration.

Restrictions on non-conventional and dual-use items
India and Pakistan
Countries whose sustainable development might be damaged by arms exports

You should also be aware of the list of countries currently eligible for loans from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA).
The IDA's remit is help the world's poorest countries by providing interest-free credits and grants for development programs.
Access the IDA website - List of Borrowing Countries page.

This list includes both countries where there are specific sanctions and embargoes in place and others where arms exports might seriously hamper a countries economic and sustainable development, as defined in the Consolidated EU and National Arms Exports Licensing Criteria (Either see below or access link to Licence Decision Making).

Other non-arms related restrictions

In addition to the information provided on the BERR website you are advised to access:

  • The Foreign Office (FCO) is responsible for overall UK policy on international sanctions. The FCO website provides an A-Z index of Sanctions and Export Controls by Country.

    You are also recommended to consult this list. This listing provides wider, more comprehensive information relating to countries where there are other restrictions in place (such as visa and financial sanctions).
  • HM Treasury's Asset Freezing Unit is responsible for the implementation and administration of international financial sanctions in the UK.
    See more on Financial Sanctions
  • The European Commission website has an up to date list of EU Sanctions in force. You should note this includes details of financial and other restrictions as well as arms embargoes and sanctions.

Please see more detail for the Export BIS Licence


  2. Download End User Document by BIS (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills)
  3. Download Stockist Document by BIS (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills)
  4. Download a copy of our own in-house guide - July 2012

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