Trade sanctions on the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is subject to an arms embargo and transit control.

This guidance will continue to apply until 31 December 2020. Read more information on the transition period.

There are a number of restrictive measures imposed in relation to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The measures are imposed by UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1493 (2003), 1596 (2005), 1807 (2008), and 2198 (2015) and by the European Union. EU measures are contained in Council Decision 2010/788/CFSP and Council Regulation 1183/2005.

Arms embargo

It is prohibited to export, sell, supply or transfer military goods and technology to non-governmental entities and individuals operating in the territory of the DRC, or to other destinations where the items are ultimately for use by such entities or individuals. You should also be aware there are prohibitions if you are providing technical assistance, financing and financial assistance, and brokering services related to these items or to military activities.


Exceptions and licences may be available regarding the above measures. These are set out in Council Decision 2010/788/CFSP and Council Regulation 1183/2005.

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 the DRC, 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 the DRC.

Financial sanctions

For information on any relevant financial sanctions, contact the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

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

ECJU contact details


Contact the helpline for general queries about strategic export licensing.

Export Control Joint Unit
2nd floor 
3 Whitehall Place


Telephone: 020 7215 4594

Notices to exporters

Notices to exporters from the ECJU contain important information about:

  • amendments to open general export licences
  • changes to the list of controlled goods
  • updates on legislation and sanctions

Sign up to receive email alerts to notices to exporters.

Published 13 August 2012
Last updated 4 June 2013 + show all updates
  1. Included links to financial sanctions content on GOV.UK

  2. First published.