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September 20, 2011 

U.S. Lifts Most Financial Sanctions on Libyan Government

Yesterday, the United States Government lifted most of the financial sanctions on Libya that were imposed on February 25, 2011 by Executive Order 13566. These actions were taken after the United Nations Security Council last Friday approved Resolution S/Res/2009 (2011) which lifted most multilateral sanctions on the Libyan Government.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) implemented the U.N. resolution via two additional General Licenses, General Licenses 7A and 8.

General License 7A allows all new transactions with Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) and the affiliated companies named in the amended General License. In addition, General License 7A unblocks all previously blocked property owned or controlled by NOC and the named affiliates. General License 7A requires financial institutions to file an email report with OFAC within 10 business days of the release of any blocked funds, including cash and securities, to the email address included in the general license.

General License 8 authorizes new transactions with the Government of Libya, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities, as long as they are not included on the list of 19 persons named on the GL (and are included on OFAC’s SDN List with the [LIBYA2] designation. However, General License 8 does not allow payment of previously blocked transactions and thus any prior transactions that were blocked cannot be paid until OFAC issues a specific or general license authorizing prior transactions.

While business activities involving Libya are not likely to normalize for some time, these new general licenses will make it easier for U.S. companies and financial institutions to resume their business activities in Libya as long as they are aware of the constraints that still exist, including that a large number of transactions and funds remain blocked. Blocked transactions may not be paid or finalized until a specific license is issued by OFAC.

Libya still remains subject to export controls administered by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and all export licenses remain suspended until further notice .

In addition, exports to Libya remain subject to restrictions imposed by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, which includes the suspension of all export licenses for defense articles and technical data that have been issued under the ITAR. In addition, no ITAR exemptions may be utilized to export items subject to the ITAR to Libya.




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