1 September 2011
On September 1, 2011, the Government of Canada lifted the unilateral economic sanctions it imposed on Libya on February 27, 2011, now that the Gaddafi regime no longer holds power. The Government of Canada has repealed these economic sanctions in support of the Libyan people and the new governing authorities.
On February 26, 2011, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1970 (2011), imposing sanctions against Libya in response to the systematic violation of human rights and use of force against civilians by the country’s authorities. The sanctions included an arms embargo on the country, and a travel ban and assets freeze on the family of Muammar Gaddafi and certain government officials.
With the situation in Libya, the Government of Canada wanted to act to implement the measures decided upon by the United Nations Security Council, as well as ban transactions with the Libyan government and its institutions and agencies. On February 27, 2011, the Government of Canada implemented regulations that allowed for the UN Security Council’s decisions to be recognized in Canadian domestic law. The regulations allowed for the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council to be extended to include the entire Libyan government by adding "Libya" as a designated entity.
In order to do this, the regulations were enacted under two separate pieces of enabling legislation: the United Nations Act
(the UN Act) and the Special Economic Measures Act
After six months of strenuous opposition, the Gaddafi regime has fallen and the Libyan people are establishing a new future. Canada supports the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people and regards the NTC as Libya’s government. In light of the urgent requirement to ensure stabilization, the NTC will need to begin the essential tasks of establishing security throughout the country, and focus on delivering food, medical services and emergency assistance to people in need. The Canadian government expects that the Libyan people will also work together to establish a genuinely inclusive and representative government in Libya, committed to respecting the human rights of all Libyans.
Canada has therefore decided to lift its unilateral sanctions in order to assist the Libyan people transition justly, safely and securely towards a democracy.
The measures imposed against Libya under the authority of the UN Act include:
- Prohibitions on the export, sale, and other provision of arms and related materials to Libya;
- Prohibitions on the shipment to and from Libya of arms and related material by owners or operators of Canadian vessels or aircraft;
- Prohibitions on the provision of technical, financial and other assistance related to military activities or the use of arms and related material;
- Prohibitions on the import of arms and related material from Libya; and
- Prohibitions on dealings with designated persons.
All the measures imposed by Canada under the authority of the SEMA found in section 8 and 9(b) were repealed on September 1, 2011. In addition, the Special Economic Measures (Libya) Permit Authorization Order has also been repealed.