Arms Embargo

I. Relevant Security Council resolutions and Guidelines of the Committee

The exemptions from the arms embargos are guided by the following:

  • Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011): paragraph 9
  • Security Council Resolution 2009 (2011): paragraph 13
  • Security Council Resolution 2095 (2013): paragraphs 9 and 10
  • Security Council Resolution 2174 (2014): paragraph 8
  • Committee Guidelines: Section 11

II. Who is entitled to submit the arms embargo exemption requests or notifications?

Member States (usually through their Permanent Missions to the United Nations) can submit arms embargo exemption requests or notifications. The Committee also considered submissions by an international organization and a United Nations department.

III. What are the exemptions to the arms embargo, and how are they invoked?

There are different types of arms embargo exemptions, some of which require a notification or request for exemption to the Committee:

  • Standing exemptions: protective clothing for certain actors; non-lethal military equipment, technical assistance, training or financial assistance, when intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government; supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance or training.
  • Arms and related materiel of all types and assistance other than technical, training or financial, intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan authorities: exemption request to and approval by the Committee.
  • Small arms, light weapons and related materiel for certain actors: notification to and absence of negative decision by the Committee.
  • Any other sales or supply of arms and related materiel, or provision of assistance or personnel: exemption request to and approval by the Committee.

1. Standing exemptions

Pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) of resolution 1970 (2011) and paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 2095 (2013), the following materials and recipients are exempt from the arms embargo. As such, no request or notification needs to be submitted to the Committee.

  1. protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to Libya by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, for their personal use only.
  2. non-lethal military equipment, and the provision of any technical assistance, training or financial assistance, when intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government.

2. The arms and related materiel for the Libyan government exemption

Pursuant to paragraph 13 (a) of resolution 2009 (2011), paragraph 10 of resolution 2095 (2013) and paragraph 8 of resolution 2174 (2014), the supply, sale or transfer to Libya of arms and related lethal materiel of all types, including any assistance other than technical, training or financial, intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan authorities, requires the submission of a request for exemption to the Committee, which should include the following information:

For items:

  1. precise end-user[1]
  2. exact quantity of items and a detailed list of equipment to be provided[2]
  3. intended dates of delivery
  4. means of transport
  5.  intended port of entry
  6. Intended place(s) of delivery
  7. a note issued by the Libyan body responsible for dealing with requests for assistance[3]

For technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance:

  1. precise details of the type of training and/or assistance
  2. name of the body that will provide the service
  3. recipient to whom the service will be delivered
  4. location and duration

Please note that the Committee will only consider complete exemption requests.

3. The small arms, light weapons and related materiel for certain actors exemption

Pursuant to paragraph 13 (b) of resolution 2009 (2011), the supply, sale or transfer to Libya small arms, light weapons and related materiel, temporarily exported to Libya for the sole use of United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, are to be notified to the Committee, and should include the following information:

  1. precise end-user[4]
  2. exact quantity of items and detailed list of equipment to be provided[5]
  3. intended dates of delivery
  4. means of transport
  5.  intended port of entry
  6. Intended place(s) of delivery

Please note that the Committee will only consider complete notifications.

4. The other transfers of military and related material or provision of training or personnel exemption

Pursuant to paragraph 9 (c) of resolution 1970 (2011), other sales or supply of arms and related materiel, or provision of assistance or personnel, require a request for exemption to the Committee, which should include the following information:

  1. precise end-user[6]
  2. exact quantity of items and detailed list of equipment to be provided[7]
  3. intended dates of delivery
  4. means of transport
  5.  intended port of entry
  6. Intended place(s) of delivery

Please note that the Committee will only consider complete notifications. 

[1] The supplying party is not obliged to present a copy of the end-user certificate; a confirmation that an end-user certificate has been signed by the relevant Libyan authorities and the indication of the identity of this end-user are sufficient.

[2] The provision of a detailed list bears relevance only insofar as any types of the supplied equipment are included in the UN Register of Conventional Arms or the Wassenaar Arrangement.

[3] Focal points responsible for procurement have been identified by the Libyan authorities in the various relevant ministries and notified to the Committee by the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations: information about the officials within these focal points who are authorized to sign the note can be provided or confirmed by the Committee secretariat upon request (SC-1970-Committee@un.org).

[4] See footnote 1.

[5] See footnote 2.

[6] See footnote 1.

[7] See footnote 2.

IV. How to make an arms embargo exemption requests or notification?

Please submit exemption requests/notifications to the arms embargo, through your relevant Permanent Mission to the United Nations, addressed to:

  • The Chair of the Committee, His Excellency Mr. Olof Skoog, through the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations.

With copy to:

V. Decision-making of the Committee

The Committee, through its Chair, will acknowledge receipt of a notification or exemption request once it has been circulated for the consideration of the Committee. Should no negative decision on a notification be taken by the Committee within the requisite five working day period, the Committee, through its Chair, will inform the notifying Member State thereof. The Committee, thorough its Chair, will also inform the notifying Member State if a negative decision has been taken regarding the notification. The Committee, through its Chair, will inform the Member States requesting an exemption from the arms embargo about its decision.