The current sanctions regimes in force against Syria were implemented as a response to the repression by the Syrian government of protests linked to the Arab Spring.

The initial round of sanctions was contained in Council Regulation (EU) No 442/2011 of 9 May 2011; this was followed by Council Regulation (EU) No 878/2011 of 2 September 2011, which introduced a ban on purchasing, importing into the EU or transporting Syrian crude oil.

The regime was subsequently enhanced by Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012, which was further amended by Council Regulation (EU) No. 168/2012, Council Regulation (EU) No. 509/2012, Council Regulation (EU) No. 545/2012, Council Regulation (EU) No. 867/2012, Council Regulation (EU) No. 697/2013, Council Regulation (EU) No. 1332/2013, Council Regulation (EU) No. 1332/2013, and Council Regulation (EU) 2015/827.

There are specific derogations from the sanctions which allow the relevant authorities to authorise certain activities involving the United Nations, the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, or where these activities involve meeting humanitarian concerns, reconstruction and restoring basic services. These are however narrow in scope.

Key areas: oil; arms embargo; telecommunications items; materials for power plant construction; luxury goods; gold and silver; Syrian cultural property goods and other goods of archaeological, historical, cultural, rare scientific or religious importance; financial restrictions including (re)insurance of government and/or designated entities; restrictions around the access of Syrian Arab Airlines and cargo flights by Syrian carriers to airports in the Union;  asset freeze and travel ban for designated entities. 

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