Sanctions against Libya

Description of the sanctions

The EU sanctions against Libya consist of an arms embargo, with a prohibition on export, import and also transport of arms and related material of all kinds (including ammunition, military vehicles and military equipment, paramilitary equipment and associated spare parts), and provisions on inspection of vessels and aircraft suspected of transporting such goods. Furthermore, sanctions in the form of travel restrictions and the freezing of assets and providing access to persons and entities identified by the UN or independently by the EU. Measures to stop illicit export of petroleum, including crude oil and refined oil products, are also included in the sanctions.

1. Arms embargo etc.

All EU Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the sale or supply of arms and related materiel, including ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and associated spare parts to Libya by nationals of Member States or from the territories of Member States or by using the flag vessels or aircraft of Member States. A corresponding prohibition applies to technical and financial assistance related to the supply of such items. The same kind of embargo applies to equipment which might be used for internal repression. The equipment referred to is listed in an annex to the EU regulation (see 'Relevant EU documents'). However, there are possibilities for exemptions, which have recently been expanded.
It is also prohibited to obtain the products covered by these embargoes from Libya.

Within the framework of international law, Member States shall particularly inspect ships and aircraft travelling to or from Libya within their own territory and on the open sea, when reasonable grounds exist to assume the ship or aircraft is transporting prohibited goods as outlined above. Upon discovery, the goods shall be seized and removed.

2. Travel restrictions

All Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent individuals who are considered to be responsible for the violent repression in Libya under Gaddafi's regime from entry into, or transit through, their territories, and also for human rights violations, attacks against the Libyan state or international operations, offences against the UN sanctions or supportive actions. Resolution 2362 (2017) means that a new listing criterium has been established concerning attacks against UN staff, including the panel experts. Certain exemptions may be made, for example on humanitarian grounds. Those concerned are listed in special annexes to the EU legal instruments, which specify which persons are to be subject to the ban under a UN decision or independent EU decision. These lists have been updated on several occasions (see 'Relevant EU documents').

3. Freezing of assets

The assets of persons and entities deemed responsible for the violent repression in Libya, and persons and entities with links to them, are to be frozen. It is also prohibited to make funds and economic resources available to these persons and entities. However, certain exemptions are possible, for example on humanitarian grounds. The persons and entities concerned are listed in annexes to the EU legal instruments, which specify the persons and entities subject to this restriction under a UN decision or independent EU decision. A special arrangement applies to the two entities that are still listed by the UN: the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio. These entities are subject to the asset freeze but it is no longer prohibited to make funds available to them. Moreover, under certain conditions, wider scope is allowed regarding making exemptions from the rules concerning freezing of assets, subject to administrative decisions approved by the UN.

In light of the fact that the situation in Libya has changed, a number of entities and some persons have gradually been removed from the lists, some by the UN and some by the EU. This means that the assets freeze and the ban on making funds available no longer apply to those removed from the lists, including the previously UN-listed Central Bank and Libyan Foreign Bank.

Competent Swedish authorities

Possible exemptions from the arms embargo and the embargo concerning equipment for internal repression are dealt with by the Inspectorate of Strategic Products.

Exemptions from the freezing of assets may, where appropriate, be approved by Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency) concerning assets needed for the basic necessities of life; exemptions concerning payment of legal counsel may be approved by the Legal Aid Authority; and exemptions concerning sequestrations or arbitrations may be approved by the Swedish Enforcement Authority.

Other exemptions from the freezing of assets may be granted by the National Board of Trade, for example concerning the receipt of payment from frozen assets under an obligation entered into before being listed or for humanitarian supplies. The National Board of Trade has also been tasked with issuing permits, under certain given circumstances, for the partial release of frozen assets belonging to the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio.

Finansinspektionen (the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority) receives information about frozen accounts and issues permits to pay fees for routine administration from frozen assets.

Links to the relevant authorities are available lower down on this page.

Contact

Josefin Simonsson Brodén
Sanctions Coordinator
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
email to Josefin Simonsson Brodén