On 15 October 2012, the EU Council decided to expand economic sanctions against both Syria and Iran, which could affect export operations as the customs authorities play an important part in enforcing sanctions and could for example raise questions before releasing shipments for export.

Among other sanctions, the ban on the supply of key equipment for the Iranian oil, gas and petrochemical industries has been broadened, and a ban has been introduced on the sale of certain materials (including graphite and raw or semi-finished metals such as steel and aluminium) and certain industrial processing software to Iran.

The EU’s sanctions against Syria include a new ban on the purchase of arms and related materials from Syria and a ban on EU airport access for Syrian Arab Airlines.