Global sanctions guide

  1. Does Egypt have a sanctions regime in place?

Yes. Egypt imposes financial sanctions on persons and groups as a result of their involvement in criminal activities, such as terrorism and money laundering. Egypt is also a party to the UN and other international organisations such as the African Union and the League of Arab States, which have their own sanctions regimes.

  1. Does Egypt implement UN sanctions?

Yes. Additionally, in 2002 Egypt passed Law No. 80 of 2002 against Money Laundering (the “Anti-Money Laundering Law”), which created a unit within the Central Bank of Egypt (the “CBE Unit”) whose purpose, among other things, is to cooperate with committees established pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions and other international agencies and organisations for the purpose of combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

  1. Does Egypt implement an autonomous sanctions regime?

Yes. Egypt implements an autonomous terrorist sanctions regime, which is articulated in Decree Law No. 8 of 2015 on the Regulation of Terrorist Organisations and Terrorists Lists (the “Law on Terrorist Organisations and Terrorists Lists”).

The CBE Unit also collects information from various sources about suspicious transactions that may relate to money laundering or terrorist financing. Where, following investigation, the CBE Unit suspects that money laundering has been committed, it refers the case to the General Prosecution, which handles the matter as it deems appropriate.

  1. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in Egypt?

In addition to the autonomous sanctions regime discussed above, Egypt is a founding member of the UN and is bound by resolutions issued by the UN under Chapter VII of the UN Charter (Art. 41), imposing sanctions on states, entities and individuals. The UN Charter was incorporated into Egyptian law by virtue of Law No. 120 of 1945 of October 14, 1945.

Article 1(3) of Law 453 of 1955 on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the “MFA”) states that the MFA shall supervise the implementation of international agreements, including the UN Charter and sanctions issued under the Charter, in conjunction with other ministries and government entities.

With respect to sanctions issued under domestic law, the Law on Terrorist Organisations and Terrorists Lists imposes the following sanctions on those that are placed on the list of “Terrorist Organisations”:

  • banning the organisation and suspending its activities
  • shutting down all its premises and banning the meetings of its members
  • prohibiting the financing of, collection of funds or any other matter for, the organisation
  • freezing the assets of the organisation or its members when they are used for the purpose of engaging in a terrorist activity
  • forbidding the joining of the organisation or invitations or promotions to join the organisation or the use of its signs or emblems

Sanctions imposed on those who are placed on the “Terrorists List” are as follows:

  • travel bans
  • freezing or cancellation of passports or non-issuance of new passports
  • revention of work in the public sector
  • freezing of assets used in the commission of the terrorist activity

The above is without prejudice to any custodial or other criminal sentence that may be imposed on a person found guilty of being a “terrorist” or a “member of a terrorist organisation”, which under the Penal Code (Law No. 58 of 1937) includes imprisonment for periods ranging between 3 years and life (and may amount to the death penalty), in addition to certain administrative penalties.

  1. Does Egypt maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?

Yes. However, the list varies depending on the type and source of the sanctions. The list containing sanctioned individuals and entities under the Law on Terrorist Organisations and Terrorists Lists is created by the General Prosecution, reviewed and confirmed by the Felonies Court, and officially issued pursuant to a decree that is published in the Official Gazette.

Sanctions pertaining to the UN and other organisations are supervised and implemented by the MFA pursuant to Article 1(3) of Law 453 of 1955 on the MFA. A list of the individuals and entities subject to sanctions is placed with the MFA, which then channels it to the appropriate government body. For example, lists of sanctions relating to asset freezes are forwarded to the CBE Unit.

In addition, the CBE Unit stores information about suspected transactions relating to money laundering and terrorist financing in a database, which it shares with interested parties – such as investigative authorities or foreign governments – for the purpose of crime prevention and cooperation.

  1. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?


  1. Does Egypt have a licensing or authorisation system in place?

No. A person wishing to challenge their placement on a sanctions list can communicate with the MFA, which will forward his or her complaint to the appropriate body within the UN or international organisation.

The Law on Terrorist Organisations and Terrorists Lists allows persons placed on the list of individuals subject to sanctions under that Law to challenge their listing within 60 days of the publication of the decree adding their names to the list.  Such a challenge is made before the Court of Cassation’s Criminal Division. Failure to challenge the listing will lead to a person’s name being placed on the list for a period of 3 years, subject to renewal. The Attorney General may request that a person’s name be removed from the list.

Furthermore, the Code of Criminal Procures and the Anti-Money Laundering Law allow the Attorney General to issue an order preventing those accused of committing certain financial crimes (including money laundering and terrorist financing) from disposing of, or dealing with, their assets until the issuance of a final judgment in their case. Such a decision can be challenged before a court of competent jurisdiction.

Finally, the Minister of Interior’s Decree No. 2214 of 1994 regulates the placing of individuals on the “travel ban” list for a period of 3 years, which may be renewed. Challenges to placements on the “travel ban” list may be submitted to the Passports, Immigration and Citizenship Unit.

  1. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in Egypt?

There is no institutionalised system regulating breaches of sanctions in Egypt. At best, certain criminal or administrative penalties may be imposed for non-compliance with orders or regulations issued by the competent government authority.

The consequences of breaching Egypt’s Anti-Money Laundering Law vary between fines amounting to EGP 500,000 for natural persons and EGP 5,000,000 for juridical persons, as well as imprisonment for up to 7 years, seizure of the proceeds of crime, and the suspension of licences. The Anti-Money Laundering Law also pierces the corporate veil by subjecting those who exercise real and effective control over a juridical person to personal responsibility and to penalties that may include fines and/or imprisonment.

The penalties for committing terrorist acts can amount to life imprisonment and the death penalty in certain circumstances.

  1. Who are the relevant regulators in Egypt and what are their contact details?

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for overseeing the implementation of sanctions in Egypt.

Minister Maspero
Corniche El Nil

T: (+202) 257-963-34
F:(+202) 257-679-67

The General Prosecution is responsible for creating the list of sanctioned persons pursuant to the Law on Terrorist Organisations and Terrorists Lists.

Office of the Attorney General
Court of Cassation
26 July Street
Isaaf Square

T: (+202) 257-604-68
F: (+202) 257-747-16

The Money Laundering Combating Unit at the CBE is responsible for enforcing the Anti-Money Laundering Law.

54 El-Gomhoreya Street

T: (+202) 277-027-70
F: (+202) 259-760-81

Contributor law firm

Shahid Law Firm, 20B Adly Street, Downtown, Cairo 11511, Egypt

T: +202 2393 5557
F: +202 2393 5447