Trade sanctions relating to Afghanistan

Afghanistan is subject to transit control and other restrictions for military goods.

There are a number of restrictive measures imposed in relation to Afghanistan. These measures are imposed by UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1067 (1996), 1333 (2000), 1363 (2001) and 1390 (2002), and implemented by the European Union. These are set out in EU Council Decision 2011/486/CFSP and Council Regulation (EU) No 753/2011.

Arms embargo

It is prohibited to export, sell, supply or transfer military goods and technology to or for the benefit of individuals and entities designated by the UN, or to other destinations where the items are for use by or for the benefit of such individuals and entities. You should also be aware there are prohibitions if you are providing related technical assistance.

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 Afghanistan, 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 Afghanistan.

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 7 August 2019