What is the governing legislation?

Singapore has an autonomous sanctions regime which is exercised pursuant to the United Nations Act (Cap 339) (the “Act”). Under the Act, the Minister is empowered to make regulations to implement UN Security Council Resolutions.

However, the Act does not apply to any financial institution that is subject to the directions of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”).

Therefore, the Sanctions regime in Singapore is essentially a dual approach where the general resolutions from the UN Security Council are implemented through regulations made under the Act while resolutions targeted at financial institutions namely those relating to the prevention of money laundering and the prevention of terrorism financing are administered by MAS under the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap 186).

In addition, legislation such as the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act gives effect to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and similar matters.

A list of designated individuals and entities which are sanctioned pursuant to the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act, the Act and the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act can be found here.

A list of the notices and guidelines issued by MAS can be found here.

Enforcement Authority

MAS is responsible for financial sanctions. The Singapore Customs are responsible for sanctions on trade in strategic goods and strategic technology. The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Terrorist Designation is responsible for matters relating to the designation of terrorists.

What are the exemptions?

Exemptions may be granted by the Minister in certain cases where it is considered appropriate in the circumstances and consistent with the regulations made by the applicable authority.

What are the penalties?

The consequences vary depending on the relevant legislation or provision that has been breached. For example, a financial institution which fails to comply with any of MAS’s Regulations may be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of up to S$1,000,000.

Author: Esther Quah

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