July 12, 2023

EU amends the Libya arms embargo to include the destruction of seized arms

On July 10, 2023, the Council of the EU adopted Council Regulation (EU) 2023/1433 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2023/1439 to amend the restrictive measures that enable the EU’s naval operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI to inspect vessels off of the coast of Libya if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they are carrying arms or related materiel to or from Libya in violation of the United Nations arms embargo against Libya.  The amendment enables inspectors who discover items prohibited by the embargo to seize and dispose of those items.  Under the amendment, the disposal shall include the destruction of the items by rendering them inoperative or by allowing them to be used in a manner that prevents their transfer to Libya or another third country where the arms or related materiel is prohibited.

The EU amended the regulations shortly after the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2684 (2023), on June 2, 2023, to renew the authorization for the Libyan arms embargo for an additional 12 months, and, in particular, the measures that allow Member States to inspect vessels near Libya’s coast that are suspected of committing arms embargo violations.  The UN also requested that the Secretary-General provide a report on the implementation of the resolution within 6 and 11 months.

Council Regulation (EU) 2023/1433 | Council Deciision (CFSP) 2023/1439 | UN Security Council Press Release (June 2, 2023)