Since our previous circular, Libya has imposed restrictions due to Covid-19 from Wednesday 25th March, a night-time curfew (6pm – 6am) and the closure of public spaces. It also ordered the closure of restaurants, cafes and party halls and banned funeral and wedding ceremonies.
The courts are only open for the most urgent of matters.
Ports in Libya
New measures have also been implemented for ships to follow when approaching Libyan ports:
- embarkation onboard ships has been banned for everyone including pilots and immigration officers etc.
- the crew are not permitted to leave the ship except for emergency cases. In an emergency, any action should be taken only via the health authority.
- all ship agents must provide the following:
-a list of the last ten ports visited by the ship;
-a crew list which should include the date of sign on;
-a declaration signed by the ship’s master stating the situation on board the ship in relation to Coronavirus.
- all required paper work must be done electronically.
- the pilot must perform his work via the VHF while he is on board the pilot tug.
- at least two towage tugs must be hired for berthing.
- the final declaration must be given by the health authority.
- if the master refuses to enter port without a pilot onboard, then the pilot may go onboard the ship after taking safety measures (wearing the dedicated clothes, mask, gloves etc). In case the pilot is unable to do that and the master still refuses to enter the port without the pilot, then the ship must wait at the anchorage area for 14 days before entering the port.
- disposing of any waste is prohibited while the ship in port.
A meeting was held between the Libyan Chamber of Shipping and the Central Bank in the last few days, who discussed measures to facilitate the import of food and medical items, the main point of discussion being that the local banks will accept documents such as Bills of Lading and invoices via email instead of hard copies during this period of restrictions.