The 1989-2003 civil war had a devastating effect on the country's economy. Most major businesses were destroyed or heavily damaged, and most foreign investors and businesses left the country. Iron ore production stopped completely, and the United Nations banned timber and diamond exports from Liberia. UN sanctions on Liberian timber were removed in 2006; activity in the timber sector was expected to resume on a large scale during the October 2008-May 2009 dry season. Diamond sanctions were terminated by the UN Security Council in April 2007, and Liberian diamond exports have resumed through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme Gold deposits, some of which are currently nearing production, should soon begin to contribute to government revenues and provide additional employment.
Currently, Liberia's revenues come primarily from rubber exports and revenues from its maritime registry program. Liberia has the second-largest maritime registry in the world; there were over 3,000 vessels totaling nearly 100 million gross tons registered under its flag, earning some $18 million in maritime revenue in Liberia.