Libyan situation update

Jul 25 2014

Leading insurance and P&I service provider Skuld has given an update on the Libyan situation, provided by Germa Shipping & Stevedoring.

The situation with regards to the following ports appears to be that:

·         All oil terminals/ports are still in operation, except Brega oil terminal, which is currently on strike, which will continue for the time being.

·         Benghazi and Tobruk commercial ports are operating normally at the moment.

·         Although the port of Tripoli is open, cargo operations will face great difficulties as stevedores/labour remains unavailable due to the continued conflict.

·         Benghazi may also face a similar situation as armed militia groups are also reported to be fighting in the city.

It is important to note that the above situation is very dynamic and possibly subject to rapid changes.

Any vessel sailing to Libya should have a constant flow of update information from local agents and monitor the situation prior and during any call.

Skuld urged members intending to call at Libya to bear the following in mind:

1)Their contractual arrangements/charterparty clauses and whether these are sufficient to manage any issues which may arise from calling at Libya.

2)Possibility of port/terminal blockades by protestors - at the very least this would mean delay for vessel.

3)Increased armed violence and criminal activity.

4)ISPS Code may not still be comprehensively executed, or maintained by Libyan ports at present - the US Coast Guard has raised this as a concern and the Association has also advised on this situation.

5)Vessels which call at certain countries after calling at Libya may have to undergo greater scrutiny from interested government agencies.

6)The Master should stay in close contact with local agents and local correspondents - however, this may be complicated by the situation on the ground, which may make communication difficult, or unreliable.

7)Sudden changes in groups controlling key installations and ports - this may affect operations on the ground, or put owners inadvertently at risk of breaching sanctions, eg if the port suddenly comes under another groups' control and the cargo from that port is therefore declared as illicit cargo under sanctions.

8)Sanctions on Libya - this is not a comprehensive advice on Libyan sanctions and members should still make their own enquiries on their own specific situation.

There continues to be financial sanctions on certain individuals and entities. As of 2014, there has also been a ban on illicit crude oil exports.

In general, owners would have to ensure that they are not doing business with sanctioned entities or individuals. This would require checks on the UN, US, EU sanction lists, as well as the relevant countries, such as the discharge port's destination country, owners' own home country, etc.

Based on the text of the UN resolution, the Libyan government will flag up to the Security Council committee vessels/cargoes, which are engaged in illicit crude oil exports. The powers provided by the UN resolution include inspection of the suspect vessel at sea, as well as sanctions against the suspect vessel.

It has already been reported that at least one vessel was detained by US Navy personnel after having loaded a cargo from a port not under official Libyan Government control.

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