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Libya: Port situation

30 June 2020

The situation in Libya remains extremely volatile and vessel operators should contact local ship’s agents and P&I correspondents for the most up-to-date information on Libyan ports. Despite crude loading resuming operations in certain oilfields in Libya, Skuld’s correspondent (Shtewi Legal & Pandi Services) reported that not all Libyan ports are open and operational.  

The situation of the ports are as follows and are correct at the time of writing.

Operating ports

Tripoli Port 

OPEN: Normal operations. Working operations: 08:00 to 18:00.

Al Khoms Port 

OPEN: Livestock vessels and other general cargo vessels allowed.

Expect some delays for general cargo vessels, car carriers and bulk cargo. Working operations: 08:00 to 18:00.

Misurata Port 

OPEN: Normal operations. Expect some delays for certain types of vessels/cargoes. Working operations: 08:00 to 18:00.

Zawia/Zawiyya Port 

OPEN: Normal operations.

Marsa El Brega Port 

CLOSED: Closed to all tankers including Libyan tankers.

OPEN: For general cargo. Expect some delays. Working operations: 07:30 to 18:00.

Mellitah Port 

OPEN: Normal operations.

Farwah Port 

OPEN: Normal operations. Vessels allowed to berth only in daylight hours 07:30 to 18:00. Sailing at any time.

Bouri Port 

OPEN: Normal operations. Vessels allowed to berth only in daylight hours 07:30 to 18:00. Sailing at any time.

Benghazi Port 

RESTRICTED: Crude products allowed. Normal operations. Expect some delays. Working operations: 08:00 to 18:00.

Tobruk Port 

RESTRICTED: Ban on crude products. Normal operations. Expect some delays. Working operations: 08:00 to 17:00.

The restricted working hours due to the COVID-19 situation do not apply to vessels carrying food, detergents or pharmaceuticals.

Closed ports

Marsa El Brega Port

CLOSED

Marsa El Hariga Port

CLOSED

Zuetine Port

CLOSED

Ras Lanuf Port

CLOSED

Es Sider Port

CLOSED

Derna Port

CLOSED

Sirte Port

CLOSED

Recommendations

Skuld’s correspondent has provided the following recommendations which should be observed by all vessels calling at a port in Libya:

  1. Vessels should not navigate in or near to the coastal waters of Benghazi, Derna and Sirte, including the militarised area south of 34 00’N. All vessels are advised to sail further out to sea to avoid potential arrests by the Libyan National Army (LNA) who will impose a hefty fine of LD 150,000 (approx. USD 107,000).

  1. All tankers loading from a port in Libya should undertake all pre-checks and compliance measures to ensure that the intended cargo for loading is not classified as “illegal” – i.e. one that has not been authorised by Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC). The Libyan NOC has the sole rights and control of all oil exports from the country.

  1. Turkish vessels and crew should not call at any Libyan East ports (Tobrok, Derna, Benghazi, Zuetina, Brega, Ras Lanuf terminals) due to the warning issued by the Libyan National Army (LNA) in response to Turkey’s continued support and involvement with Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the fights occurring around the capital (Tripoli).

  1. The issued COVID-19 procedures and instructions for vessels calling at a port in Libya should be strictly complied to. Vessels calling at Libyan ports should seek clarification on the requirements in ample time prior to arrival with the local agent.

  1. Vessels should report their schedules (to local port agents) prior to arrival at any Libyan port, including a declaration of the vessel’s sailing route, whether they are loading or discharging cargo and the type of cargo on board, so that the agents can notify the appropriate authorities.

  1. All vessels intending to call at Benghazi should submit to their appointed local port agent their cargo declaration along with the vessel’s and owner’s particulars, and P&I club details prior to arrival.

For tankers trading to Libya, the following guidelines are recommended:

  1. All tankers loading from a port in Libya should undertake all pre-checks and compliance measures to ensure that the intended cargo for loading is not classified as “illegal” – i.e. one that has not been authorised by Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC). The Libyan NOC has the sole rights and control of all oil exports from the country. Shipowners and managers should obtain a certificate of origin from the charterers to evidence that the shippers are the National Oil Company (NOC) or an approved legal entity of the NOC.

  1. The charterers should perform checks to ensure the legitimacy of cargo interests and if they are permitted to legitimately ship oil cargoes from Libya. A formal letter or document to prove that the shippers are authorized by the NOC to ship the cargo should be obtained.

  1. Tankers delivering fuel oil at a port in Libya should leave Libyan waters upon receiving port clearance and without delay and where possible, to head straight for the next port of call without deviation. This is to ensure that no possible accusations or suspicions of smuggling can be levied upon the vessel.

The above recommendations are in addition to the usual sanctions’ checks, given that several Libyan individuals and entities are subject to international sanctions.  Reference may be made to Skuld’s Insight article on Libya Sanctions for relevant information.

COVID-19 requirements highlights 

  1. The COVID-19 procedures and instructions are to be complied with on arrival, during pilotage and whilst operating alongside berth.

  1. The quoted 14-day quarantine period includes the transit time from the previous port.

  1. Crewmembers working outside the accommodation to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and observe strict social distance of three metres from stevedores.

  1. Although the document mentions remote pilotage services, Skuld’s correspondent has reported that in most cases the pilot still boards the vessel with full PPE.

The complete list of requirements and instructions is attached.

US international port security programme

Members should take note of the latest Port Security Advisory (2-19) of 16 May 2019 and the US Coast Guard (USCG) has determined that ports in Libya are not maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures.

The advisory includes a reminder that the UN Security Council Resolution 2146 authorizes the UN Sanctions Committee to impose certain measures on vessels attempting to illicitly export crude oil from Libya and that this resolution imposes several restrictions regarding loading, transporting, or discharging crude oil from Libya which may include the possible denial of port entry.

The  US Coast Guard (USCG) is required to assess the effectiveness of antiterrorism measures implemented in foreign ports from which US flagged vessels and foreign vessels depart on a voyage to the US and other foreign ports believed to pose a security risk to international maritime commerce.

All vessels arriving to the United States that visited the countries listed in in the Port Security Advisory during their last five port calls must take the following actions listed below while in the listed countries:

  1. Implement measures as per the ship's security plan equivalent to Security Level 2;

  1. Ensure that each access point to the ship is guarded and that the guards have total visibility of the exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel. Guards may be:

  • provided by the ship's crew, however, additional crewmembers should be placed on the ship if necessary, to ensure that limits on maximum hours of work are not exceeded and/or minimum hours of rest are met, or

  • provided by outside security forces approved by the ship's master and Company Security Officer.

  1. Attempt to execute a Declaration of Security;

  1. Log all security actions in the ship's security records; and

  1. Report actions taken to the cognizant US Coast Guard Captain of the Port prior to arrival in the US.

Any affected vessel that does not meet the stipulated conditions may be denied entry into the US.