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Obligations under EU law: restrictive measures

Generally restrictive measures aim at bringing about a change in activities or policies such as violations of international law or human rights, or policies that do not respect the rule of law or democratic principles.

The European Union has a wide range of restrictive measures it can impose. Restrictive measures may comprise arms embargoes, other specific or general trade restrictions (import and export bans), financial restrictions (freezing of funds or economic resources, prohibition on making funds and economic resources available, restrictions on export credits or investments), restrictions on admission (visa or travel bans), or other measures, as appropriate. The European Union may also impose a ban on the provision of specific services related to certain goods and technology, including financial services, brokering services and technical assistance.

Restrictive measures may target governments of third countries and non-state entities such as companies and individuals.

More specifically to the diamond industry, the EU restricts the import and export of rough diamonds between the EU member states and certain third countries. As a participant in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the European Union only allows imports and exports of rough diamonds to and from countries participating in the Kimberley Process and subjects the imports and exports of rough diamonds to a number of requirements.

In addition to the restrictions of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, EU law imposes with regard to specific third countries additional restrictions on the trade of diamonds.  These restrictions concern rough and polished diamonds (while the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme restrictions only apply to rough diamonds), which are not mounted or set.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the additional restrictive measures apply regardless of whether the traded diamonds are to be incorporated in jewellery or used for industrial purposes.