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Information on exporting strategic goods to Iraq
An arms embargo is in force on Iraq. This is both a UN and EU imposed embargo and has been implemented in UK law.
NOTE: This page outlines relevant information about the arms embargo only. See the link to other restrictions for more information about other potential sanctions.
An arms embargo is a ban on the export of "arms and related material" (ie military ammunition, weapons and goods) imposed by either the UN (United Nations), European Union (EU), Organisation on Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The UK interprets this as covering all goods and items on the UK Military List.
Additionally some goods which are not on the UK Military List might also need an export licence. See more details about the Military End-Use Control.
The UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) exempted supplies to the Government of Iraq and the multinational force. This is implemented in the UK by legislation prohibiting the supply to all end-users in Iraq, but application for a licence will be considered favourably where the consignee is the Government of Iraq or multinational force.
Exporters can apply for an export control licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the Government on a case by case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated Criteria for UK and EU Arms Exports. See more details about Licence Decision Making.
Exporters can also make a rating request for clarification on whether their goods are licensable. More information is available about the Rating Enquiry Service.
In applying and using any licence, exporters should be aware of their responsibilities. More information is accessible on the Compliance and Enforcement pages.
Further information is available in the following Notice to Exporters:
Keep updated with the latest changes to Sanctions and Embargoes by Joining the ECO Mailing List.
The UN originally imposed sanctions on Iraq (via Security Council Resolution 661) following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
With the fall of Iraqi government in 2003, the UN issued Security Council Resolution 1483 in May 2003. This resolution declared the lifting of trade sanctions, apart from the arms embargo which remained in force.
This resolution has subsequently been amended via Resolution 1546 which declared that the restrictions are lifted for arms or related material required by the Government of Iraq or the multinational force. Restrictions remain in force on other end-users. (For details see the Notice to Exporters above)
To access copies of any relevant UN Resolutions see the:
The EU issued its own arms embargo on Iraq, following the UN Security Council's resolutions condemning the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
The EU's position is now outlined in the following declarations:
To access copies of any relevant and latest updates to EU legislation see the:
The relevant statutory instruments implemented in UK law are:
See more information about the Orders made under the Export Control Act.
To access copies of any UK legislation see the:
Iraq is also subject to other sanctions including a ban on certain investment, ban on new commitments for grants, financial assistance and concessional loans to the Government of Iran and list of targeted persons and entities. See further information on financial sanctions on Iraq (HM Treasury website) and Iraq sanctions information (FCO website).
Export Control Organisation
Created: 7 April 2009