Initial Imposition of EU Sanctions and Subsequent Amendments

EU sanctions were first imposed on Libya in 2011 to implement the UN arms embargo (UNSC Resolution 1970) in response to repression exercised by the regime over civilians. This included restrictive measures against those involved in human rights abuses (Council Decision 2011/137 and Council Regulation 204/2011).

Following UN amendments in September 2011, EU sanctions were also lightened, e.g. end of the asset freeze relating to the Libyan National Oil Corporation.


UN Sanctions

UN sanctions have guided the EU restrictive measures in place relating to Libya, which have also eased at a parallel pace.

In December 2011 the UN delisted the Libyan Central Bank and Libyan Arab Foreign Bank, but other financial institutions remain subject to an asset freeze.

The EU has additionally autonomously imposed sanctions on entities not listed by the UN, although most of these have now been listed.


Form of the Sanctions

Travel bans

Asset freezes

Arms embargo


Criteria for Inclusion in Targeted Measures

Categories of individuals and entities targeted by the restrictive measures are:

  • Those deemed responsible for the violent repression in Libya (members of the Gaddafi family and senior members of the Gaddafi regime).
  • Businesses and institutions associated with the Gaddafi regime.


EU Provisions in Force

Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1333 (OJ L 58, 1 August 2015) contains: arms embargo; embargo on equipment which may be used for internal repression; ban on provision of certain services; prohibition of procuring arms and equipment which might be used for internal repression from Libya; measures dealing with the inspection of vessels and aircraft to or from Libya; asset freezes; and restrictions on admission.

Council Regulation (EU) 2016/44 (OJ L 12, 19 January 2016) contains: embargo on equipment which may be used for internal repression; prohibition of procuring from Libya of equipment which might be used for internal repression; ban on provision of certain services; asset freezes; and specific restrictions on certain vessels in order to stop illegal exports of crude oil from Libya.

Common Position 2004/698/CFSP (OJ L 317, 14 October 2004) contains protection of economic operators from UN measures.

Council Regulation (EC) 3275/1993 (OJ L 295, 29 November 1993) contains a prohibition to satisfy claims with regard to transactions whose performance is affected by UN measures. Amended by Council Regulation (EC) 1786/2004 (OJ L 317, 14 October 2004) amendment to the preamble.


Case Law (all actions for annulment unless otherwise specified)

Kadhaf Al Dam v Council and Commission (Case T-348/13) (Date of Lodging: 3 July 2013)

Afriqiyah Airways v Council (Case T-436/11) (Date of Lodging: 3 August 2011)

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