On February 1, 2023, the Targeted Financial Sanctions Law (TFSL, Law No. 782-VIQ) was published in Azerbaijan’s government newspaper and entered into force. A presidential decree on the implementation of the TFSL (Decree) was also published the same day. The law’s preamble states that the law’s purpose is to provide for the legal basis and procedure for the application of financial sanctions aimed at preventing terrorism, the financing of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The law provides for two types of sanctions: the immediate freezing of assets of designated individuals and entities, and the prohibition of the provision of assets, economic resources, or other related services to the sanctioned individuals and entities. (TFSL art. 3.)
The sanctions may be implemented on the following classes of assets regardless of whether the assets are directly related to terrorism, proliferation, or their financing:
- Assets owned by the sanctioned individuals and entities.
- Assets owned or controlled directly or indirectly, solely or jointly with others, and other assets obtained through such assets.
- Assets owned by individuals and entities acting on behalf of the sanctioned individuals or entities.
- Assets of entities owned or controlled directly or indirectly, solely or jointly with others, by the sanctioned individuals or entities.
All persons and institutions in the territory of Azerbaijan are required to freeze the assets of the designated individuals and entities immediately upon the appearance of their names and titles in the international and domestic lists of assets provided for in article 4.1 of the TFSL and published in the internet information resource. Moreover, notification of the action of freezing the assets is not to be provided to the designated parties. (TFSL art. 5.1.)
The law provides for the establishment of two sanctioned persons and entities lists, one domestic and the other international. Individuals and entities that are suspected of committing acts of terrorism or terrorism financing, or assisting in or attempting the commission of such acts, or participating in any form in the creation of a terrorist organization may be included in the domestic list by a court order, which is to be issued upon provision of the information by the Office of the President of Azerbaijan. (TFSL arts. 7.1; Decree art. 1.1.) Competent bodies of foreign states may also request the inclusion of an individual or entity in the domestic list if sufficient justification for the inclusion is submitted with the request. (TFSL art. 8). The Office of the President is to review the request’s compatibility with Azerbaijani law. (TFSL art. 8; Decree art. 1.) The law provides that individuals and entities that are included in the list must be notified of the fact and that the grounds for inclusion and information on the procedure for delisting must be made accessible online (TFSL art. 9), and that the sanctioned parties have a right to request information from the administration on the reasons of inclusion through an internet portal (TFSL art. 7.3).
Individuals and entities are included in the international list by an order of the president of Azerbaijan, which the president is to issue upon the designation and listing of such individuals or entities by the relevant sanction committees of the United Nations Security Council for acts of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or their financing. (TFSL art. 11.1; Decree art. 1.)
The TFSL also provides the procedures for delisting individuals and entities from the domestic and international list. (TFSL arts. 10 & 12.)
Kayahan Cantekin, Law Library of Congress
March 1, 2023
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