Sanctions against Syria: Switzerland adopts temporary EU humanitarian exemption

Considering the severity of the humanitarian situation in Syria, which was exacerbated by the recent earthquake, the EU modified its sanctions regime against Syria on 23 February 2023 by introducing a broad, temporary exemption to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The EU has suspended, for the next six months, the requirement that humanitarian organizations get prior authorization to conduct transfers or send commodities to sanctioned individuals and businesses if doing so is required for the provision of humanitarian relief.

The Federal Council enacted sanctions on Syria for the first time on 18 May 2011, aligning Switzerland with the sanctions system established by the EU on 9 May 2011 against Syria. It has since revised the ordinance many times to match EU judgments. The Swiss Ordinance of 8 June 2012 Imposing Measures against Syria already has several humanitarian exceptions. However, to ease their humanitarian activities, the Federal Council exempted, on 3 March 2023, humanitarian actors receiving financing from the Confederation from the prohibition on transferring – directly or indirectly – assets or economic resources to sanctioned people, companies, or enterprises. On 10 March 2023, the Federal Council extended this action to organizations protected by the EU’s humanitarian exemption for the next six months.

These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:

Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025