However, keeping track of who or what is under sanction can be challenging but in this guide, we will delve into the methods and resources available for individuals, organizations, and governments to check the UN sanction list.

What is the UN Sanction List?

The United Nations Security Council Consolidated List, or the UN Sanction List, is a comprehensive list of groups, individuals, and entities subject to UN sanctions, including arms embargoes, travel bans, and asset freezes.

The inclusion of an individual or entity on the UN Sanction List is based on determinations by the UNSC regarding their involvement in activities deemed to threaten international peace and security. These activities may include:

  • Terrorism
  • Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Human Rights Violations
  • Armed Conflicts
  • Piracy
  • Arms Trafficking
  • Transnational Organized Crime

Understanding how to check the UN Sanction List is crucial for individuals, businesses, and governments involved in global interactions.

Methods to Check the UN Sanction List

  1. United Nations Website
  2. UN Sanctions Lists Portal
  3. National Government Websites
  4. Financial Institutions and Compliance Tools
  5. Legal and Compliance Advisors

Sanction Screening Tools

The traditional method of manual screening is time-consuming and prone to errors. It involves sifting through the extensive UN Sanction list, which can be a daunting task given the sheer volume of data. However, automated sanction screening tools can streamline this process.

Sanction screening tools use AI-powered algorithms to screen individuals and entities against the UN Sanction List and other sanctions databases. Real-time monitoring within screening tools allows organizations to receive instant alerts for potential matches with the UN Sanction List. This allows for timely action and prevents unauthorized transactions or engagements with sanctioned parties.

The Importance of Checking the UN Sanction List

  • Failure to adhere to sanctions measures can result in severe penalties, including fines, legal sanctions, and reputational damage.
  • Financial institutions and businesses rely on sanctions screening to detect and prevent transactions involving sanctioned parties, thereby disrupting illicit financial flows and protecting the integrity of the global financial system.
  • Checking the UN Sanction List aligns with ethical and corporate social responsibility principles by ensuring that individuals and organizations do not engage with entities or countries involved in activities contrary to international norms and values.
  • By adhering to sanctions measures and preventing interactions with sanctioned parties, individuals and organizations play a vital role in supporting diplomatic efforts to address conflicts, prevent the proliferation of weapons, combat terrorism, and promote respect for human rights.

Countries Under UN Sanctions

The United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions on various countries as a means to maintain international peace and stability.


The UN Security Council initiated sanctions after Iran failed to suspend all activities related to nuclear power enrichment and reprocessing. These sanctions aimed to pressure Iran into meeting the Security Council's demands and the requirements outlined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.

The UNSC passed multiple resolutions, each introducing distinct sanctions and constraints on Iran. These included embargoes on arms, asset freezes, and limitations on activities related to ballistic missiles.

A significant development 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).

However, the expiry of the UN arms embargo on Iran in October 2020, allowed Iran to engage in foreign arms procurement. Despite these developments, Iran remains under scrutiny, and the UN continues to monitor its activities closely.

North Korea

The UN Security Council has passed numerous resolutions to curb North Korea's nuclear program and restrict its access to global resources. A notable example is Resolution 2397 which limited North Korea's imports of refined petroleum products and crude oil and halted the export of critical goods such as food, machinery, and electrical equipment.

These sanctions were designed to pressure North Korea's leadership into compliance with international demands regarding its nuclear program. However, despite these sanctions, North Korea continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions, leading to ongoing tensions on the global stage.


Russia has been subjected to numerous UN sanctions due to its actions in Ukraine and suspected meddling in other nations' domestic affairs. The annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 led to the imposition of sanctions on certain Russian leaders and businesses implicated in this controversial move. These sanctions included asset freezes and travel bans.

The UN also imposed sanctions on individuals and entities associated with the war in Eastern Ukraine, primarily in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. These sanctions targeted separatist leaders and sympathizers.

In addition, an arms embargo was established to prevent the transfer or sale of weapons to and from Russia. Restrictions were also placed on the export of dual-use goods to prevent their potential military use.

Since the escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict into a full-blown war in 2022, the focus has shifted to individual sanctions to achieve swift results. A comprehensive sanction over this war is yet to be published by the UN.

Final Thoughts & How Can Help

To ensure compliance with UN sanctions and adherence to Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer regulations, individuals, businesses, and governments must stay informed about the UN Sanction List. The best way to do this is by using sanction screening software to cross-check individuals against the list. is a highly reliable and cost-effective solution for AML and sanctions screening. AI-powered and with an enterprise-grade API with 99.99% uptime are reasons why customers globally trust us with their trade compliance and AML screening needs.

To learn more about how our sanctions, PEP, and criminal watchlist screening service can support your organization's compliance program:

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