EU/Iran: Commission launches two online platforms to support SMEs

The European Commission has launched the Due Diligence Helpdesk and the ‘Sanctions Tool‘, aiming to support economic operators, and in particular Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), interested in doing legitimate trade with Iran. Both online platforms are free-of-charge.

The Due Diligence Helpdesk provides concrete, tailor-made support to EU SMEs by carrying out due diligence and thereby checking if specific business projects comply with EU sanctions. In doing so, the platform aims to encourage EU SMEs to engage in legitimate business involving Iran and provide reassurance to other stakeholders, such as European banks. The Helpdesk will also publish guides, organise trainings and webinars and support business matchmaking events.

The Sanctions Tool is based on an easy-to-use interactive questionnaire. It provides EU SMEs with a general, non-binding guidance on whether their business projects could fall under EU sanctions concerning Iran.

In line with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the EU lifted all its economic and financial sanctions imposed in connection with the Iranian nuclear programme. However, as a number of EU restrictions concerning Iran remain in place, the two online platforms aim at assisting economic operators when engaging with Iran. These platforms thus underscore the continued EU commitment to the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “The ‘EU Sanctions Tool’ and the ‘Due Diligence Helpdesk’ aim to provide useful guidance and orientation to EU economic operators, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, enabling them to engage with confidence with Iranian business partners.”

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President for a Stronger Europe in the World, said: “By developing these initiatives, the EU seeks to strengthen and facilitate legitimate trade between Iran and the EU, in line with the EU’s continued efforts under the JCPOA.” 


Within the European Commission, Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis is responsible for monitoring the enforcement of EU financial and economic sanctions across the Union. This includes supporting EU companies to carry out business which is fully compliant with EU sanctions. He is also responsible for developing proposals to enhance the EU’s resilience to extraterritorial sanctions by third countries, in close cooperation with High Representative/Vice-President Borrell who ensures consistency of the Union’s external action, including of the EU sanctions policy, and coordinates external action in the Commission.

For more information

Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA)

European External Action Service (EEAS)