From May 2001 to May 2016 the UN imposed an arms embargo related to Liberia. Since 2006 this embargo applied only to non-governmental forces, allowing for transfers to the Government and Special Security Service, subject to adequate vetting.
In May 2001, in order to implement the UN arms embargo on Liberia, the European Union member states adopted Council Common Position (2001/357/CFSP). Following the lifting of the UN arms embargo the EU lifted its embargo in June 2016.
In February 2004 the embargo was repealed and replaced by Council Common Position 2004/137/CFSP.
In July 2006, following modifications to the UN arms embargo in June 2006, the EU adopted Council Common Position 2006/518/CFSP. In accordance with the changes made to the UN embargo, the Common Position stated that the EU embargo no longer applied to:
'a) weapons and ammunition already provided to members of the Special Security Service (SSS) for training purposes and remaining in the custody of the SSS for unencumbered operational use, provided that their transfer to the SSS had been approved in advance by the Committee established by paragraph 21 of UNSC 1521 (2003) (‘the Committee’), and technical and financial assistance related to such weapons and ammunition;
(b) weapons and ammunition intended for use by members of the Government of Liberia police and security forces who have been vetted and trained since the inception of the United Nations Mission in Liberia, provided that such supplies have been approved in advance by the Committee, upon a joint request by the Government of Liberia and the exporting State, and technical and financial assistance related to such weapons and ammunition.'