Sierra Leone is subject to regional controls governing small arms and light weapons.
Sierra Leone is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The UK will not issue an export licence for small arms and light weapons, components or ammunition to ECOWAS. The UK will only consider issuing licence applications where the ECOWAS Commission has issued an exception to its moratorium. Find out more in this guide to ECOWAS export restrictions.
On 14 June 2006 the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons was adopted. The ECOWAS agreed to ban small arms and light weapons (SALW), ammunition and other related materials from being:
- transferred to mercenaries, armed militia, rebel groups and private security companies
- possessed, used and sold by civilians
ECOWAS member states can apply to the ECOWAS Commission Executive Secretariat to import or export SALW for specific reasons, such as:
- national defence and security
- peace support
Military items transiting the UK are still regarded as being exported when they leave the country and are therefore subject to control. Article 17 of the Export Control Order 2008 includes a transit and transhipment exception meaning that in many situations a licence is not required. This exception does not apply to certain military goods destined for Sierra Leone, meaning that a licence is required to transit goods through the UK or to tranship them in the UK with a view to re-exportation to Sierra Leone.
ECJU contact details
Contact the helpline for general queries about strategic export licensing.
Export Control Joint Unit
3 Whitehall Place
Telephone: 020 7215 4594
Notices to exporters
Notices to exporters from the ECJU contain important information about:
- amendments to open general export licences
- changes to the list of controlled goods
- updates on legislation and sanctions
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