How to Check the UN Sanction List?

Blog / How to Check the UN Sanction List?

The United Nations (UN) assumes a vital role in upholding international peace and stability. Among its many instruments, sanctions stand out as significant diplomatic and economic leverage. Being well-informed on the contents of the UN Sanction List is essential for individuals, businesses, and governments.

The UN Sanction List, officially known as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Consolidated List, serves as a comprehension of individuals, groups, organizations, and entities subjected to certain measures by the UN. These measures include asset freezes, travel bans, arms embargoes, and other constraints aimed at decreasing their activities and influence.

How Do UN Sanctions Work?

The UNSC employs UN sanctions as diplomatic instruments to address challenges to global peace and security. These sanctions are aimed at entities ranging from states to individuals, groups, or organizations involved in activities that contradict international law. These activities include acts of aggression against other countries, support for terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and human rights violations.

The implementation of UN sanctions follows a structured process. It commences with the adoption of a UNSC resolution that authorizes sanctions against the offending party. This resolution presents the specific measures to be enacted, encompassing economic restrictions, travel prohibitions, arms embargoes, and other punitive actions. 

The UN member states are then obligated to integrate these sanctions into their legal frameworks. The degree of adherence can vary among nations, but the overarching objective is to exert pressure on the targeted entity. This pressure compels them to amend their conduct and adhere to international norms.

While UN sanctions are integral to preserving global security, their efficacy remains a topic of debate. The repercussions of sanctions present a multifaceted challenge, as they can inadvertently impact innocent populations and incite humanitarian crises. Nevertheless, UN sanctions have the potential to foster international peace, discourage acts of aggression, and promote the observance of human rights on a global scale.

Countries Under UN Sanctions 

The UN enforces sanctions for various reasons, from threats to global peace to human rights violations and non-compliance with international agreements. Maintaining awareness of these sanctions proves vital for corporations, governments, and individuals involved in worldwide interactions. 


The imposition of sanctions on Iran stemmed from a sequence of UNSC resolutions triggered by concerns over Iran's nuclear activities and its failure to adhere to international safeguards agreements. These sanctions were initiated after Iran declined to comply with the UNSC’s demand for the suspension of all activities related to enrichment and reprocessing of nuclear power. The primary objective of these sanctions is to exert pressure on Iran to meet the Security Council's demands and fulfill the requirements outlined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors. The most significant development in this context occurred on January 16, 2016, when a majority of UN sanctions on Iran were lifted following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Throughout this period, the UNSC passed multiple resolutions, each introducing distinct sanctions and constraints on Iran, including embargoes on arms, asset freezes, and limitations on activities related to ballistic missiles. The expiry of the UN arms embargo on Iran in October 2020 represented a pivotal moment, granting Iran the ability to engage in foreign arms procurement. 

Guide for anti-money laundering regulations and authorities in Iran

North Korea

In response to North Korea's nuclear tests and provocative actions, the UN has implemented a series of sanctions. The UNSC has passed a sequence of resolutions to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions and restrict its access to global resources.

One particularly noteworthy resolution is Resolution 2397, which was enacted in December 2017 following a missile launch. This resolution restricted North Korean imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products and prevented the export of critical goods such as food, machinery, and electrical equipment. These sanctions were imposed to put pressure on North Korea's leadership and to persuade North Korea to comply with international demands about its nuclear program. Nonetheless, despite the sanctions, UN agencies continue to provide critical humanitarian aid to North Korea in areas such as nutrition, health, water, and sanitation to meet the humanitarian needs of the North Korean people affected by these restrictions.

Guide for anti-money laundering regulations and authorities in North Korea


The UN has imposed several sanctions against Russia, largely in response to its actions in Ukraine and suspected interference in the domestic affairs of other countries.

Following Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, the UN imposed sanctions on certain Russian leaders and businesses implicated in this controversial action, including asset freezes and travel bans. Similarly, the UN placed sanctions on individuals and entities linked with the war in Eastern Ukraine, primarily in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, including separatist leaders and sympathizers.

Moreover, an arms embargo was established to prevent the transfer or sale of weapons to and from Russia, while restrictions were placed on the export of dual-use goods to prevent their potential military utilization. These sanctions, subject to regular reviews by the UNSC, form part of the international response to Russia's actions and are complemented by sanctions from individual countries and regional organizations.

Since the Russo-Ukrainian conflict’s escalation into a full-blown war in 2022, individual sanctions were given focus to prioritize swift results. A comprehensive sanction over this war is yet to be published by the UN.

In addition to the human cost of the Russia-Ukraine war, there were also significant consequences for AML

Most Effective Ways to Utilize UN Sanction List

To utilize the full potential of the UN Sanction List, one must begin by acquainting themselves with its contents and maintaining up-to-date knowledge as it changes. Collaborating closely with proper authorities and organizations becomes imperative to guarantee adherence. Furthermore, the integration of the list into due diligence processes, financial transactions, and supply chain management can serve as a preventive measure against unintentional involvement with sanctioned entities. Staying informed about global developments and utilizing technology for ongoing monitoring are relevant strategies in today’s world.

Sanction Screening Solution to Check UN Sanction List 

Utilizing Sanction Screening software represents a highly effective approach for cross-checking the UN Sanction List and ensuring adherence to AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations

In today’s financial landscape, manual compliance proves challenging due to the vast array of global sanctions lists. Sanction Screening service, exemplified by Sanction Scanner's software, offers a swifter and more precise alternative. Through automated systems, businesses can swiftly scrutinize multiple sanctions lists and diminish the likelihood of errors and overlooked sanctions.

Sanction Scanner's Sanction Screening and Monitoring software distinguishes itself as a foremost solution in this domain. It deploys AI-powered algorithms to proficiently screen individuals and entities against extensive sanctions registers from numerous nations, encompassing PEPs (politically exposed persons), watch lists, and the UN sanctions list. 

Sanction Scanner empowers enterprises to bolster compliance and safeguard their reputation. For comprehensive and dependable sanction screening services, contact us or request a demo today.

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