Web Alert by Standard Club: Libya Update July 2019

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12 July 2019

The situation in Libya remains volatile and highly unpredictable. Vessels calling at Libyan ports can expect delays and are reminded to contact vessel agents to notify them of their schedules prior to arrival. Owners should also provide them with details of the cargo to be loaded or discharged which will be notified to the local authorities. If calling at Tripoli, owners should provide this information as early as possible due to violence and unrest in city.

Currently, the following ports are open:

          Mellitah                                   Zawia
          Tripoli         Misurata
          Marsa El Brega               Benghazi
          Al Khoms         Marsa El Hariga
          Farwah         Bouri
          Zuwarah         Zuetina
          Es Sider         Ras Lanuf
          Tobruk 

Sirte and Dema remain closed. 

Navigating the coastal waters of Benghazi, Dema and Sirte, including the militarised area south of 34 00N, should be avoided.

Turkish vessels

Our local correspondent advises that on 26 June 2019, the Libyan National Army’s military commander, Khalifa Haftar, ordered his forces to attack Turkish vessels and Turkish interests in Libyan territories or waters. Turkish members should avoid calling in Libya; however, any vessel carrying cargo loaded in Turkey should consider this as potentially at risk of attack.

Port security

The United States Coast Guard Port Security Advisory (2-19) issued on 16 May 2019, determined that Libyan ports are not maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures. All vessels arriving in the United States which have called in Libyan ports during their last five port calls, must take additional security measures listed in the advisory. Failure to do so may result in delays or denial of entry into the United States.  

Refugees

The summer period and calmer waters of the Mediterranean bring higher risks of encountering vessels in distress carrying refugees fleeing Libya. Italy has criminalised the disembarking of refugees in its ports under Decree n.138, 14 June 2019. Members are strongly advised to find alternative ports if possible, to avoid lengthy delays, potential fines and criminal penalties. Repeat offending could result in the confiscation of the vessel.