Difference Between Sanction and Embargo

Sanction vs Embargo

The difference between sanction and embargo is very interesting because though both terms have their own meanings, depending on the context, sometimes the general meaning differs. In general, sanction means to give or to grant permission to something. However, when the word is used in an economic sense, it indicates a ban or a barrier in certain trade items. Embargo is an economic term, which means to prohibit something fully or partially, when it comes to trading. In this article, we are going to look at the differences between the terms Sanction and Embargo in more detail.

What does Sanction mean?

The Oxford dictionary defines sanction as measures taken by a state to force another into doing something or to grant official permission. When we look at those meanings, we see a contrast. In one way it prevents the happenings and, on the other hand, it gives permission to carry on something. However, we can identify the real meaning of the word by looking at the environment where it is used.

As mentioned above, in Economics, the word sanction is used to indicate a ban on trade items. This may not be applied to each and every item, but only for some. One country may prohibit importing certain items, usually weapons, from other countries and there we can see economic sanction. If we consider about the legal application of the sanction, it means penalties or other enforcement over particular individuals as a means of ensuring their obedience with the law. Capital punishment, fines, imprisonment are some of the sanctions regarding the law. Likewise, the meaning of the term sanction differs according to the environment in which it occurs.

Difference Between  Sanction and Embargo

What does Embargo mean?

Embargo is an official ban, especially with regard to foreign trade. One country may prohibit certain trade items of other countries and before exporting, each country should check whether the items are embargoes or not. Embargo is a situation that is more similar to economic sanctions. As economic sanctions prohibit importing of certain foreign items, embargo also limits the foreign trade. Any country, before exporting their goods, should check whether the item is embargoed  or not at the destination country. It is easier to obtain a license if possible, for the smooth functioning of the transaction. However, embargoes may not be permanent prohibitions and there can be changes over the time.

What is the difference between Sanction and Embargo?

When we take both terms together, we can identify similarities as well as differences. Both sanction and embargo mean prohibition or ban of foreign items, if we look at them in an economic point of view. Especially, the term sanction has a lot of other meanings with regard to other disciplines. However, in economic sense, both mean the same. Also, both terms suggest that a trader should be aware of the banned items before exporting their products. Moreover, both sanctions and embargoes may vary over the time. If we look at the differences in both terms,

• The major distinction is that the term sanction has a lot of usages whereas embargo is used as an economic term.

• The meaning of sanction can only be understood by reading the whole sentence and then we can understand the real meaning.

• In contrast, embargo, being an economic term, easily gives the meaning and usage.

• However, both terms can be used simultaneously, depending on the environment in which they are used.