UN Resolution 2009/2011 - Lifting of Sanctions

On 16 September 2011, the Security Council of the United Nations adopted Resolution 2009 (2011), with the aim of easing sanctions measures against Libya that had been adopted pursuant to UN Resolution 1970/2011 of 26 February 2011. UNSCR 1970/2011 introduced asset freezes targeted at the Qadhafi family and close assistants, an arms embargo and a travel ban.  This was given effect in the European Union pursuant to EU Regulation 204/2011 as from 3 March 2011. As the battle for control of Libya intensified, so too did the scope of sanctions measures adopted by the EU, extending, inter alia, to a number of oil companies, banks and ports.

Over the past few weeks, the political situation in Libya has changed significantly.  The National Transitional Council is now in control of a number of important commercial enterprises that had previously been controlled by the Qadhafi government.  In response and with effect from 2 September 2011, the EU lifted sanctions that had been imposed against 6 ports and 22 other entities.  UNSCR 2009/2011 is a response to the need to release frozen assets to make them available to the Libyan people, and to encourage foreign companies to resume trade and investment in Libya.  It will not take legal effect in the EU or elsewhere without appropriate implementing legislation.  The EU is expected to very quickly adopt UNSCR 2009/2011 by passing changes to Regulation 204/2011.  Once implemented in the EU the likely impact of the new regulations is expected to be as follows:

  • Lifting of sanctions against the Libyan National Oil Corporation (“LNOC”) (listed as a sanctions target on 24 March 2011), and Zuietina Oil Company (listed as a sanctions target on 14 April 2011).
  • Modification of sanctions against Central Bank of Libya, Libyan Arab Foreign Bank, Libyan Investment Authority, and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio. Each of these entities was listed as an EU sanctions target on 11 March 2011 by reason of being controlled by Colonel Qadhafi.  Funds, assets and economic resources of these entities frozen as of 16 September 2011 shall remain frozen. However, it will be permitted to enter into new transactions with them, and new funds generated after 16 September 2011 shall not be subject to the asset freeze.
  • Licensing of Exemptions – in respect of assets that remain frozen as of 16 September 2011, the relevant competent authority of an EU Member State may issue licences for the release and use of those assets in relation to activities involving (i) humanitarian needs, (ii) provision of fuel, electricity and water for civilian use, (iii) establishing, operating and strengthening government and public infrastructure, and (iv) facilitating the resumption of banking sector operations.

The asset freezing measures imposed against Colonel Qadhafi and five of his family members are to remain in place.

A copy of UNSCR 2009/2011 can downloaded from the link below.  This page will be updated as soon as possible after implementing legislation has been passed in the EU.