Sanctions on Libya

Article Date: 08 March 2011

1. In response to the situation in Libya, which has been widely reported in the press, the European Union has imposed an arms embargo. Details are available in Council Decision 2011/137/CFSP (published in the Official Journal of the European Union L58, 3.3.2011, p53).

2. The European Union has also issued a new associated Council Regulation which details additional restrictive measures. For more information download – Council Regulation (EU) No 204/2011 (published in the Official Journal of the European Union, L58, 3.3.2011, p1).

3. These European Union sanctions have been imposed following a unanimous decision at the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on Libya. Details of the restrictive measures imposed by the UN are published in United Nations Resolution 1970 (2011).

4. EU Council Decision imposes an arms embargo, a ban on internal repression equipment, as well as restrictions on the admission and freezing of funds and economic resources of certain persons and entities involved in serious human rights abuses against persons in Libya. The EU Council Regulation provides further details about the scope of the sanctions imposed. It also includes:

  •  a list of equipment that could be used for internal repression (Annex 1)
  •  a listing of persons, entities or bodies referred to in Article 6(1)
  •  a listing of persons, entities or bodies referred to in Article 6(2)

5. These sanctions come into force with immediate effect as of 3 March 2011 and are directly applicable in UK law.

Impact on issuing of export licences to Libya
6. All export licences are considered on a case-by-case basis in relation to the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, in light of EU and UN sanctions, the prevailing circumstances at the time of application and the proposed end-use.

7. In line with standard export licensing procedures, ECO has already revoked several export licences for a range goods that could be used for internal repression where the proposed export is not consistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

8. Decisions to revoke other licences, will be taken on a case by case basis, if necessary.

9. The ECO is in the process of reviewing any Open General Export Licences where Libya is listed as a permitted destination. A separate notice will advise exporters of any changes to relevant OGELs.  
10. If you intending to export to Libya, you should keep yourself well informed of the current situation through the media and other information channels. All future export licence applications will be considered in relation to the terms of the UN and EU imposed arms embargoes.  Export licences will not be issued unless they fit one of the exemptions set out in the embargo (for example if the export is humanitarian or for UN peacekeeping).


Return to News Index

Call us now on: +44 (0)1254 356400 for more information