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Division of responsibilities in the implementation of sanctions regulations

Laws and regulations

Published: 18 November 2014

In order to achieve the objectives of sanctions regulations, cooperation among regulatory bodies, supervisory authorities, financial institutions, individuals and companies is crucially important. Each of these players has a responsibility of their own.

Regulatory bodies

The United Nations, the European Union and the relevant Dutch ministries are responsible for recognising the need for sanctions regulations as well as formulating them. The Dutch ministries also act as the competent authorities that may in individual cases grant dispensation from restrictions related to sanctions regulations.

Financial institutions

Under the Regulation on Supervision pursuant to the Sanctions Act 1977 (Regeling Toezicht Sanctiewet 1977), financial institutions must take measures regarding their internal control structure to ensure compliance with sanctions legislation. Financial institutions must themselves closely monitor developments in sanctions regulations in order to respond quickly and appropriately.

Following the introduction of new or amended sanctions regulations, financial institutions must determine whether their relations include individuals, companies or entities that are covered by these regulations. If this is the case, they must take appropriate measures, which depend on the sanctions regulation's stipulations and the nature of the services that they provide. Such measures could include freezing money held in bank accounts or blocking insurance or pension policies. In addition, financial institutions must report these to the supervisor without delay of any measures they have taken,using the prescribed reporting form.

DNB and the AFM

Where financial transactions are concerned, DNB and the AFM are charged with supervising compliance with the Sanctions Act 1977 and, hence, with sanctions regulations. On 1 October 2005, DNB and the AFM jointly issued the Regulation on Supervision pursuant to the Sanctions Act 1977 (Regeling Toezicht Sanctiewet 1977)

As part of their supervisory duties, the AFM and DNB assess the effectiveness of the procedures and measures in place at the institutions aimed at compliance with sanctions regulations. In case of non-compliance, the supervisors may impose a cease and desist order or an administrative fine.

In addition, DNB and AFM assess the reports received from financial institutions for completeness. DNB and the AFM forward these reports to the Ministry of Finance. The restrictions imposed by the sanctions regulations apply1.

[1] This page was updated on 29 March 2022 to clarify DNB’s role in the reporting procedure.

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