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Libya

Why are sanctions imposed?

In 2011, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed sanctions in relation to Libya in response to the violence and use of armed force against civilians in Libya and the systemic violations of human rights by the former Qadhafi regime. Several subsequent UNSC resolutions have amended and renewed the sanctions. Australia implements the UNSC sanctions concerning Libya by incorporating them into Australian law.

Australia also imposes autonomous sanctions in relation to Libya, which complement the UNSC sanctions regime.

What is prohibited by the Libya sanctions regime?

The Libya sanctions regime imposes the following sanctions measures:

Measure

UNSC

Autonomous

restrictions on supplying arms and related services (an arms embargo)

 

restrictions on the import or purchase of arms

 

restrictions on providing services in relation to designated vessels

 

restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities

travel bans on designated persons

Restrictions on supplying arms or related matériel

The UNSC sanctions regime imposes an arms embargo. It is prohibited to:

  • directly or indirectly supply, sell or transfer arms or related matériel to Libya

Arms or related matériel includes, but is not limited to, weapons, ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, and spare parts and accessories for any of those things. It also includes paramilitary equipment. While each case will be considered individually, goods on the Defence and Strategic Goods List are likely to be considered arms or related matériel. Depending on the context, end user and end use, other goods may also be considered arms or related matériel. Go to Factsheet: Arms and Related Matériel for information on what to consider when assessing whether a good is an arm or related matériel.

Restrictions on providing certain services

To complement the restrictions on supplying arms, providing services that relate to those sanctioned goods is also restricted. It is prohibited to:

  • provide technical, financial or other assistance, or training, to Libya (directly or indirectly) if those services relate to:
    • military activities
    • the supply, maintenance or use of arms or related matériel, or
    • the provision of armed mercenary personnel (whether or not originating in Australia).

Restrictions on the import or purchase of arms

It is prohibited to purchase arms or related matériel from Libya or a person or entity in Libya.

Restrictions on providing services in relation to designated vessels

The UNSC’s Libya Sanctions Committee has the power to designate vessels for the purposes of the Libya sanctions regime to prohibit transactions with crude oil illicitly exported from Libya aboard a designated vessel and bunking services (the provision of fuel, supplies or other servicing) for a designated vessel. There are currently no designated vessels.

Restrictions on dealing with designated persons or entities

The UNSC (through its resolutions and its Libya Sanctions Committee) has designated persons and entities associated with the former Qadhafi regime. The UNSC designations are supplemented by Australian autonomous sanctions under which the Minister for Foreign Affairs has designated additional persons and entities also associated with the former Qadhafi regime. Subject to certain exceptions relating to the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio, it is prohibited to:

  • directly or indirectly make an asset available to (or for the benefit of) a designated person or entity
  • use or deal with an asset, or allow or facilitate another person to use or deal with an asset, if the asset is owned or controlled by a designated person or entity (the assets are ‘frozen’ and cannot be used or dealt with).

An 'asset' includes an asset or property of any kind, whether tangible or intangible, movable or immovable.

Go to the Consolidated List to search the names of designated persons and entities.

If you become aware that you are holding an asset of a designated person or entity, you are required to freeze (hold) that asset and notify the AFP as soon as possible. Go to What You Need to Do for more information.

Travel bans

All persons designated for the Libya sanctions regime are prohibited from traveling to or entering Australia.

Sanctions Permits

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant sanctions permit to allow an activity that would otherwise be prohibited under these regimes provided the activity meets specific criteria.

The table below provides a general guide to relevant criteria. You should get your own legal advice if you think your proposed activity is affected by sanctions and may meet the criteria for a permit. Go to Sanctions Permits for information on sanctions permits and applying for a permit.  

The Foreign Minister may need to notify or receive the approval of the UNSC before granting a sanctions permit. Where required, the Australian Sanctions Office will assist the Foreign Minister to notify or seek approval from the UNSC as part of the permit application process.

 

Measure

Criteria

Reference 

Restrictions on supplying arms or related matériel

The supply is

  • non-lethal military equipment for humanitarian or protective use;
  • protective clothing temporarily exported to Libya for
    • United Nations personnel;
    • a media representative;
    • a humanitarian or development worker; or
    • an associated person
  • small arms, light weapons or related matériel temporarily exported to Libya for the use of a person listed above and which the Committee has been pre-notified and has not made a negative decision within 5 working days;
  • non-lethal military equipment for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government;
  • for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government and has been preapproved by the Committee;
  • preapproved by the Committee

Regulations 3,5,6 and 7 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Libya) Regulation 2011

Regulation 13CS of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958

Restrictions on the import or purchase of arms

No permit is available

Regulations 3 and 8 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Libya) Regulation 2011

Providing technical, financial or other assistance, or training

The service:

  • consists of technical assistance or training related to a supply of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use
  • consists of technical assistance, training or financial assistance intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Government of Libya
  • consists of assistance or the provision of personnel

Regulations 3,4, 9 and 10 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Libya) 2011

Providing services in relation to designated vessels

The service is:

  • a bunkering service for a ‘designated vessel’ that is necessary for humanitarian purposes,
  • a bunkering service provided in relation to the return of the ‘designated vessel to Libya.

Regulations 3,4, 9 and 10 of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Libya) 2011

Restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities (UNSC targeted financial sanctions)

The activity is a:

  • basic expense dealing;
  • legally required dealing;
  • contractual dealing;
  • required payment dealing; or
  •  extraordinary expense dealing.

 

Regulation 5 of the Charter of the United Nations (Dealing with Assets) Regulations 2008

 

The use of or dealing with an asset that:

  • is owned or controlled by the Libyan Investment Authority, or the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio; AND
  • was outside Libya and frozen on 16 September 2011

if the use or dealing is for one or more of the following purposes:

  • addressing humanitarian needs;
  • fuel, electricity or water for civilian use;
  • resuming Libyan production or sale of hydrocarbons;
  • establishing, operating or strengthening institutions of civilian government or civilian public infrastructure; or

facilitating the resumption of banking sector operations, including to support or facilitate international trade with Libya.

Regulations 3, 11, 12, 12A, 12B, 12C, 13, 13A of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – Libya) 2011

Regulation 5 of the Charter of the United Nations (Dealing with Assets) Regulations 2008

 

 

Restrictions on dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities (autonomous sanctions)

The Foreign Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest  to grant a permit

 

and

 

the activity is a:

  • basic expense dealing;
  • legally required dealing; or
  • contractual dealing.

Regulations 6, 14, 15, 18 and 20 of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011

Autonomous Sanctions (Designated Persons and Entities and Declared Persons – Libya) List 2012

Regulations 11A and 11B of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958

 

Relevant legislation

The relevant legislation for the Libya sanctions regime includes the following:

Other Resources

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