In November, the UK passed the Venezuela (European Union Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2017. The regulations follow the EU’s recent sanctions on Venezuela as part of Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2063. They cover offences, penalties and other provisions, such as reporting obligations.

On 15 November, the UK Department for International Trade published a notice to exporters (Notice 2017/25) in which it emphasised that the UK interprets the arms embargo on Venezuela as applying to all items on the UK Military List. It further explained that “[a] licence will be required for the supply of equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications on mobile or fixed networks in Venezuela”. Licence applications must be submitted to the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) in the Department for International Trade via SPIRE, the online export licensing system. The notice also makes clear that Member States may authorise prohibited transactions that concern the execution of a contract or agreement concluded before 12 November.