UK sanctions relating to Armenia and Azerbaijan

This page provides guidance on the arms embargoes in place on Armenia and Azerbaijan

Armenia and Azerbaijan arms embargo

In February 1992, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) requested that all participating states should introduce an embargo on ‘all deliveries of weapons and munitions to forces engaged in combat in the Nagorno-Karabakh area’. This embargo is still in effect.

On 2 July 2014, the UK refined its interpretation of the arms embargo as covering the export, supply or delivery of all goods and items on the UK military list (which forms a part of the UK strategic export control lists) where this equipment could be used:

  • in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, or
  • on the land border between Azerbaijan and Armenia

Supplies of military list equipment to other end-users; such as, humanitarian, peacekeeping, research or media organisations, will not be considered subject to the embargo, unless there is a clear risk of diversion to the armed forces, police or security forces of either state.

This embargo is implemented through the Export Control Order 2008. All export and trade licence applications for Armenia and Azerbaijan as elsewhere will be assessed on a case-by-case basis against the UK Strategic Export Licensing Criteria and we will not issue a licence where to do so would be inconsistent with the Criteria.

Additionally, some goods which are not on the UK military list might also need an export licence. These are covered by the military end-use control.

Transit control

Military items transiting the UK are still regarded as being exported when they leave the country and are therefore subject to control. Article 17 of the Export Control Order 2008 includes a transit and transhipment exception meaning that in many situations a licence is not required. This exception does not apply to goods destined for Armenia or Azerbaijan, meaning that a licence is required to transit goods through the UK or to tranship them in the UK with a view to re-exportation to Armenia or Azerbaijan.

Contact details

For further information on financial sanctions: contact the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation or subscribe to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation’s e-alerts

For further information on trade sanctions: contact the Export Control Joint Unit Helpline on 020 7215 4594 or email or subscribe to the Export Control Joint Unit’s notices to exporters

For further information on transport sanctions: contact the Department for Transport on

For general information on sanctions: contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s Sanctions Directorate on


The Export Control Order 2008

Apply for an export licence through the online export licensing system managed by the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU)

Updates to this page

Published 31 December 2020
Last updated 10 January 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated to clarify exemptions for humanitarian, peacekeeping, research or media organisations, and link added to Hansard.

  2. First published.