HomeUnited KingdomNews story: UK takes steps to further facilitate aid flow into Syria

News story: UK takes steps to further facilitate aid flow into Syria

  • There are notification and record keeping requirements attached to the General Licence issued by ECJU. Both licences are valid for 6 months from the date of issue. Further detail on General Trade Licences is on gov.uk
  • UK sanctions will continue to target the Assad regime and its backers, maintaining pressure in order to encourage an end to the violent repression of civilians in Syria. They are targeted against entities responsible for some of the worst crimes, including murder, chemical weapons use, and the systematic torture of civilians.
  • The UK remains committed to holding the Assad regime accountable, including through comprehensive sanctions regulations, for its heinous crimes against the Syrian people.

Minister of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell commented: The UK has issued two General Licences, building on existing humanitarian provisions, to further facilitate humanitarian relief efforts in Syria following last week’s earthquakes. The Export Control Joint Unit’s (ECJU) General Licence will extend the protection offered by the current humanitarian exception to petroleum prohibitions for UK-funded persons to all those conducting earthquake relief efforts in Syria and Turkey. This covers persons delivering the specified activities and their service providers. The UK’s sanctions regulations already contain robust provisions for humanitarian efforts. The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) is acting to further facilitate relief efforts in Syria by issuing a General Licence. The General License will authorise activities which would otherwise have been prohibited by the asset freeze for specified groups or organisations, and their service providers.

The UK is taking steps to make it easier for aid agencies to operate in Syria without breaching the sanctions that target Assad’s regime. These Sanctions General Licences will further facilitate earthquake relief efforts in Syria.

UK sanctions do not target humanitarian aid, food, or medical supplies, but we recognise that the current requirements for individual licencing are not always practical during a crisis response.

These Licences will strengthen the timely and effective delivery of relief efforts by removing the need for individual licence applications. After significant engagement with partners and NGOs, these General Licences build on existing humanitarian provisions, and should provide extra clarity to actors on the ground responding to this devastating earthquake.


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