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What are sanctions?

The UK government publishes the UK Sanctions List and this includes both trade and financial sanctions. These can change frequently amd the US, UN and EC also have their own sanctions lists

Type About
Trade sanctions The UK may impose trade sanctions that prohibit:
  • the import, export, transfer, movement, making available or acquisition of controlled items and technologies;
  • the provision or procurement of services related to items and technology
  • the provision or procurement of certain other non-financial services

The sanctions could be applied because of: the nature of the items themselves; their country of destination or origin; or the involvement of a particular individual, institution or regime.

A licence may be issued for certain activities that the trade sanctions would otherwise prohibit. 

Financial sanctions These could prevent the transfer of funds to named individuals, institutions, regimes or via specific banking networks. This means we might not be able to receive monies from customers or make payments to suppliers.


Goods, technology or software that could be used for a military purpose or contribute towards weapons of mass destruction

We have an obligation to ensure that goods, technology or software that could be used for a military purpose or contribute towards the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are not exported into the wrong hands. To meet this obligation, and to implement UN or EU sanctions, anyone who exports goods or technology must comply with export control legislation.

This activity is co-ordinated by the Research Office please see their Export Control Policy and guidance.

Financial sanctions - Russia

The University is following events in Ukraine and the financial sanctions imposed by UK Government. The University does not undertake/process many transactions with a Russian connection, but will be monitoring developments from the OFSI (Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation) and will follow advice from Cambridge University (CU) Legal Services. Further updates will be provided as the situation changes.

Actions for departments

There are UK lists of banking institutions and individuals with whom transactions are prohibited and departments will need to follow these lists, which can be found here.  In addition, our banking institutions may prevent transactions that are prohibited by US sanctions

More help 

If you have a question please contact the Import Export Hub.


Trade sanctions - Imports and exports of goods and technology with Russia, Crimea and Belarus

Following events in Ukraine, the UK Government has imposed further trade sanctions on Russia – including export and import restrictions and bans on certain categories of goods and services.

If you are considering importing or exporting goods or technology involving Russia, Crimea and Belarus – we strongly recommend that you first consult with and the Export controls team (in the Research Office) at to consider if there are prohibitions in place and licencing requirements.   There are severe penalties for persons that do not comply.

The sanctions include bans and restrictions on:

  • the export to Russia of military goods, military technology, and dual-use technology;
  • the provision of technical assistance that enables or facilitates the conduct of certain military activity;
  • the export to Russia of certain goods and technology for use in the energy sector, particularly for off-shore drilling and exploration;
  • the export to Russia of certain 'critical industry' goods and technology and aviation and space goods and technology;
  • the export to Russia and Crimea of infrastructure-related exports;
  • certain imports (arms and related materials) originating in Russia (even if the immediate place the goods were shipped from was not Russia);
  • all imports originating in Crimea; and
  • supply and delivery prohibitions – affecting freight agents / carriers ability to deliver goods.

What are ‘dual-use’ goods and technology?

Dual-use items (including physical goods, software, and technology) are those which can be used for both civil and military purposes. The UK maintains a list of dual-use goods and technology that it considers to be 'export controlled'. All researchers exporting to Russia or working with Russian collaborators are advised to consider whether their export is included on this list and take advice from the contacts below. Exports to Russia are likely to be prohibited unless the export meets one of a number of exemptions. 

Examples of dual-use goods and technology include global positioning satellites, night vision technology, thermal imaging, some lasers, some drones and other goods that are designed using precise manufacturing specifications to be used in or in conjunction with dual-use/military equipment. Other examples may include chemicals and radioactive material. In addition, there are wider controls on exports for use, in any way, in nuclear or weapons of mass destruction programmes. 

What are 'critical industry' goods and technology?

The new sanctions create an additional list of goods, software and technology that are controlled for export to Russia. These include a number of specific: electronic devices; computers; software; telecommunications equipment; information security technology; sensors and lasers; navigation and avionics equipment; marine vessels, equipment and software; and aviation, space and propulsion goods and technologies. All researchers/staff exporting to Russia or working with Russian collaborators in any of the areas above should take advice from the contacts below. As for dual-use goods and technology, exports of these equipment are likely to be prohibited unless an exemption applies.


There are also sanctions relating to certain individuals and companies from Belarus, alongside existing sanctions.

Further information and support

For further guidance:  If you have any questions, please contact and Further updates will be provided as the situation changes.


Countries and regimes currently subject to UK financial sanctions

Last updated 28 Dec 2022  - Please always check GOV.UK web pages for the latest information

Countries Terrorist group
Afghanistan Chemical Weapons
Belarus Counter-Terrorism
Bosnia and Herzegovina Cyber
Burundi Global Anti-Corruption
Central African Republic Global Human Rights
Democratic Republic of Korea International counter-terrorism
Democratic Republic of the Congo ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida organisations
Guinea UK Freezing orders
Republic of Guinea-Bissau Unauthorised Drilling activities
South Sudan  

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