Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill ensures that when the UK leaves the EU, we can continue to impose, update, and lift sanctions and AML regimes.

The UK needs to be able to impose and implement sanctions in order to:

  • comply with our international obligations, including those under the United Nations (UN) Charter
  • support our wider foreign policy and national security goals

Many of our current sanctions regimes are established via powers in the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA). We will need new legal powers to replace these once the ECA is repealed. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will not provide the powers necessary to update, amend or lift sanctions after exit day in response to fast moving events. This would leave us in breach of our international obligations and unable to work effectively with our European and international partners to tackle shared challenges.

Experts from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, HM Treasury, Department for International Trade, Home Office, and the Department for Transport currently administer sanctions and anti-money laundering (AML) regimes. These include:

A range of departments implement and enforce these sanctions and anti-money laundering regimes, including:

The Bill in Parliament

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on Wednesday 18 October 2017.

Policy paper

This document sets out the Government’s intended approach towards issuing exceptions and licences and indicates how this will be used in relation to the most frequent types of sanctions.

Impact assessment

The impact assessment is published with its Regulatory Policy Committee opinion.


On 21 April 2017 the government published a White Paper summarising the government’s proposed initial policy position on sanctions. Following a 9-week consultation the government published its response.

Published 19 October 2017
Last updated 1 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. Policy note on exceptions and licences
  2. First published.