United Nations Security Council Sanctions: Doing Business with Iran – Requirement to Register

January 25, 2011

From 1 March 2011, persons in New Zealand, New Zealand citizens in any place outside New Zealand, and any entity incorporated or constituted under New Zealand law, or that is otherwise subject to New Zealand’s jurisdiction must register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade if they intend to do business with people in Iran, or with entities that are controlled by Iranians.

The registration requirement applies to the supply and receipt of both goods and services. The registration requirement also applies to goods and services that are imported from Iran and exported to Iran. It will be unlawful to do business with Iran without being registered. The registration scheme is provided for in the United Nations (Iran) Sanctions Amendment Regulations 2010.

The Amendment Regulations implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929. Resolution 1929 expands the existing arms embargo in respect of Iran, bans Iranian investment in uranium mining, extends existing travel restrictions, and extends the existing asset freeze and financial sanctions in respect of Iran. Resolution 1929 also imposes an obligation on states to require their nationals to “exercise vigilance” when doing business with Iran, to ensure that they do not contribute to violations of specified Security Council Resolutions relating to Iran.

New Zealand has decided to implement the obligation to require its nationals to “exercise vigilance” through a compulsory registration scheme, administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. New Zealand’s implementation of Resolution 1929, through the Amendment Regulations, is designed to ensure that legitimate trade with Iran may continue, and that people engaging in such trade exercise the necessary degree of vigilance.

It is essential that New Zealanders fully comply with regulations that implement Security Council sanctions. Given the wide scope of these regulations, and the penalties for non-compliance, it is essential that anyone contemplating doing business with Iran obtain independent legal advice before engaging in any business with people in Iran or with entities that are controlled from Iran. This guidance material does not constitute legal advice. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on it.

2010 Regulations
The Iran business registration system is implemented under United Nations Sanctions (Iran) Amendment Regulations 2010, which are made under the United Nations Act 1946. The new regulations assist New Zealand in upholding its international obligations under the United Nations Charter.

The Amendment Regulations can be downloaded from the New Zealand government legislation website. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 can be accessed from the United Nations website.

Amendment Regulations [external link]
UN Resolution 1929 - Iran sanctions (PDF 83kb) [external link]
How to Apply
From 1 March 2011 registration will be required in order to do business with Iran. You need to apply for registration from the Iran Business Team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Application forms will be available on the MFAT website from 25 January 2011.

You will need to ensure that you complete the application form in full. Failure to do so will result in delays in registration being granted. The form requires the applicant to provide:

The full name of the applicant
A description of the general nature of that business (so not necessarily every transaction, nor the precise volumes and values)
Proof of the identity of every person or entity with whom, or with which, the business is to be done.
The steps taken to ascertain the identity of every person or entity with whom, or with which, the business is to be done
In addition, the application form will require the applicant to complete a declaration stating that that he or she believes, on reasonable grounds, that the business to be done could not contribute to violations of applicable United Nations sanctions concerning Iran.

Applicants are advised to ensure that they have conducted appropriate due diligence concerning their business partners in Iran. The provision of inadequate information about the person or entity with whom, or with which, the business is to be done is likely to result in a request for additional information. This will delay registration. Applicants are advised to provide as much information as possible about their business partners in Iran. In the case of companies, for example, this may include details of their ownership, shareholders, activities, details of past dealings with the applicant, and so on.In the case of individuals, this may include proof of identity, details of the person’s directorships, shareholdings, positions held in government or in state or corporate bodies and so on.

Applications are also likely to be delayed or declined if the individuals or entities in Iran are named in applicable Security Council resolutions, or on the publicly notified "black lists" maintained by New Zealand's security partners.

The registration form will become available from 25 January 2011 and will be accessible from this page.

Once completed, you must submit the form by 1 March 2011.

If registration is granted, you will receive a registration number and will need to retain your confirmation and records of the business conducted with Iran (both written and electronic) for 7 years in accordance with Amendment Regulations. These records must be kept in a safe place and be provided to authorities if requested.

Frequently asked questions
Please read the "Guide to completing the Iran Business registration Form" before completing the registration form.
Online registration form
If you have an enquiry about the registration requirements imposed by the Iran Sanctions Amendment Regulations, please contact:

Iran Registration Officer
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Phone: 439 8086
E-mail: [email protected]