Libya Sanctions Go Into Effect

Last Friday President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order leveling sanctions against the Government of Libya, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities, and the Central Bank of Libya. In addition, a number of individuals listed on an Annex to this Executive Order where also targeted by those sanctions.

In the Executive Order, President Obama found that Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, his government, and close associates have taken extreme measures against the people of Libya, by using weapons of war, mercenaries, and wanton violence against unarmed civilians. Furthermore, the Executive Order found that due to the measures mentioned above that there was a threat to the stability of Libya such that constituted an extraordinary threat to the United States and warranted the use of sanctions.

Amongst other things, President Obama’s action blocked and blocks in the future any property under U.S. jurisdiction belonging to parties sanctioned pursuant to the Executive Order. Furthermore, the Executive Order included a ban on exporting and/or transferring blocked property which also extened to the entire Government of Libya and the Central Bank of Libya.

Although, the potential instability of Libya is cited by President Obama as being one of the reasons sanctions are warranted, it will be interesting to see how these sanctions further impact that instability. Certainly the goal here seems to be to take out the financial support of the current regime, thereby making Qadhafi’s chances of staying in power less likely. If Qadhafi somehow manages to stay in power, it will be interesting to watch how aggressively these new sanctions will be enforced. As in every case sanctions are only as strong as their enforcement.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in OFAC matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or ferrari@ferrari-legal.com.

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