Sanctions breaches

Australian businesses and individuals are required to conduct due diligence to ensure that they do not deal with sanctioned persons or entities.

It is a serious criminal offence to contravene a sanctions measure. The penalties include up to ten years in prison for individuals and substantial fines for individuals and bodies corporate.

It is therefore critical to know how to identify suspicious activity that may breach sanctions laws, and to be aware of the proper channels to report such activity.

Guidance is provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).


What are some of the signs of suspicious activity?

Signs of suspicious activity may include:

  • Changes in destination or efforts to conceal the destination or origin of a shipment, to reroute through third countries without good reason, or conceal the identity of the person or entity being dealt with.
  • Unwillingness to share information requested for the purposes of assessing a sanctions matter.
  • Transactions just below reporting thresholds.
  • Unwillingness to share information about background or end users which would normally be available.
  • Fake or suspicious-looking documentation (identity documents, commercial documentation etc).
  • Any other unusual or inconsistent information.

While these things may or may not be an indicator of suspicious activity, if something doesn’t seem right you should increase your due diligence and conduct extra checks to ensure your proposed activity is legitimate.

If any suspicions arise, you should note this on your request for an indicative assessment or application for a sanctions permit.


How can sanction breaches be reported?

If you have any information in relation to a possible contravention of an Australian sanctions law, you should:

Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in complex matters involving both Australian and international sanctions. 

Contact us if you require assistance.