International sanctions and the combating of terrorism and terrorist financing

In the interests of maintaining world peace and international security, the UN Security Council may enact sanctions or measures to combat terrorism and terrorist financing. As a UN member, Switzerland implements these resolutions through its Embargo Act or via anti-money laundering legislation.

International sanctions can be directed at states, individuals or legal entities and can affect the financial market. FINMA publishes information on coercive measures for enforcing international sanctions and financial sanctions against terrorism on its website.

Economic or trade embargos, independent freezing measures

A frequently applied international sanction is the economic or trade embargo. Such an embargo may include the complete or partial interruption of economic relations. Switzerland implements sanctions imposed by UN Security Council resolutions via ordinances issued by the Federal Council on the basis of the Embargo Act. The Federal Council may also enact independent freezing measures to safeguard Swiss interests.

Combating terrorist financing

International efforts to combat terrorist financing also rest on UN Security Council resolutions. UN member countries must have procedures in place for freezing the assets of terrorists and terrorist organisations. The UN Security Council may also enact targeted financial sanctions against individuals and organisations which it has identified (listed) as terrorist. Switzerland implements these provisions via the existing structures and procedures of its anti-money laundering legislation or in decrees based on the Embargo Act.