While the adoption of sanctions occurs at the EU level, Member States are required to enact and implement adequate and proportionate penalties for sanctions violations.

In Italy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale“MAECI”) and, in particular, Office I of the Directorate-General for Global Affairs (Direzione Generale per la mondializzazione e le questioni globali) is the Italian focal point for sanctions. The MAECI takes part in the European and international negotiations of sanctions, and it has been appointed for any notification under EU Regulations providing for restrictive measures, including asset freezes and funds blocking.

The MAECI is also responsible for the control of export, transfer and transit of products listed in the EU restrictive measures. In particular, the Unit for the Authorizations of Armament Materials (Unità per le autorizzazioni dei materiali di armamento) issues the authorisations for the export, transfer, intermediation and technical assistance related to dual-use items and military items, as well as the authorisations related to anti-torture items and goods listed under EU restrictive measures. MAECI, after receiving the non-binding opinion by the consulting committee, may reject an authorization to export or annul/suspend/modify a granted authorization to export, under certain circumstances. Such decisions by MAECI may be challenged before the Italian Administrative Courts. In addition, the activities of export, transfer, intermediation and technical assistance of listed goods may be subject to inspections  by MAECI.

As for asset freezes, the Financial Security Committee (Comitato di Sicurezza Finanziaria), established within the Ministry of Economy and Finance (Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze—“MEF”), is responsible for adopting any act necessary for the implementation of asset freezes imposed by the UN, the EU or the MEF, while the Financial Intelligence Unit (Unità di Informazione Finanziaria), established within the Bank of Italy, is in charge of collecting financial data and information regarding the listed subject, of reviewing and analysing any notice of suspicious transactions and publishing the relevant information.

The Public Prosecutor is in charge of the prosecution of sanctions violations having a criminal nature. In case the Public Prosecutor is investigating on possible violations, he/she shall immediately notify MAECI, in order for it to adopt any administrative measure deemed appropriate. In case of offences regulated by Law 185/1990, such notification shall be made also to the Ministry of Defense.

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