Logistic and forwarding services in Libya


Capital City

 6,155 Mio.

National languages

Libyan Dinar LYD

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 49’341 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 7941

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 231 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 1,329 Mrd.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Libya

After the fall of the Gadhafi regime, Libya embarked on a political transformation process aimed in particular at re-establishing domestic security and stability. Switzerland has already established solid relations with the new Libyan authorities, whom it intends to support in their efforts to reconstruct the country.

Economic cooperation

In 2009, Libya was Switzerland’s second-ranking trade partner in Africa. The crisis between the two countries and the Libyan-imposed embargo against Switzerland caused a drastic reduction in exports to Libya in 2009, i.e., -44.6% with relation to 2008. Imports from Libya, 99% of which was made up of crude oil, also underwent a sharp decline, i.e., -78.4% with relation to 2008. This tendency continued up to 2011.


Business language

Arabic, especially in correspondence with the authorities, English.


Dimensions and weights

Metric system



National currency Libyan Dinar.

ISO code: LYB


Customs tariff

Harmonised system.


Import control

Restrictive measures: an arms embargo and restrictions on admission and financial sanctions, as well as ban on the export of goods and provision of services for internal repression.

Importers must be validly registered in the register of importers. Some restrictions may apply to imports of goods in the form of registration requirements and authorization as well as prohibitions.

Licenses are required and / or registrations for drugs, medical products, foods for infants and young children, telecommunications terminal equipment and radio equipment. The general import bans will be published in a “negative list” subject to constant change; in it are included goods from Israel, pigs and their meat, poultry, alcohol, certain tissues and used goods.

The exchange control is subject to the Libyan Central Bank. Foreign currency transactions are subject to authorization.

The permissions on the payment of imports of goods are not usually problematic.

In commercial transactions requiring the use of letters and Arabic numerals (except technical and medical terms for which there is still no Arabic translation). Correspondence should be attached cover letters in Arabic.


Terms of payment and tenders

Mainly through letter of credit (the insurance must be taken out with a Libyan insurance company). The business information can only be collected by banks. Tenders in euro, depending on the possibilities CIF Tripoli or Benghazi. Invoicing in euro. At the Chambers of Commerce are available “Notes for trade with Libyan government customers”, about “Procedures and race conditions, prices, payment terms, offers, tax” and so on.


Designations of origin

There are no specific requirements regarding labelling of origin for goods. The information on the goods must agree to the truth according to the law on the designation of Libyan goods. Indication of the country of origin in commercial invoices.



Current labelling regulations in Arabic. Special labelling regulations apply to foods, pesticides and drugs. Medicines, for example, for exclusively hospital use, must bear on the packaging the marking “Not for sale to the public”.



Packaging good for navigation. The warnings on the special care when handling the packages must be affixed properly in Arabic. Examples in Arabic translation are available from the Chambers of Commerce.


Product samples

Samples with no commercial value are exempt from customs duty; those with commercial value can be regarded as exempt from duty under temporary importation. The deadline for re-export is 6 months.

In the carriage of samples, the customs authority may demand a security deposit for customs. For this reason it is advisable to carry a list of product samples in 2 copies to be delivered to the customs.


Shipping and accompanying documents

It is forbidden the boycott and so it follows that if discriminatory formulations are chosen, Chambers of commerce may no longer certify the commercial documents. Also excluded is the loophole through notaries, regional offices or other administrative tribunals. It must be therefore chosen positive formulations.

These regulations apply only to goods traffic; it was not found still no regulation for public tender procedures.

The provisions regarding consular legalization are subject to ongoing changes. Commercial invoices and certificates of origin are still authenticated by the consulate only if submitted jointly. If the bills are in dinar (LYD), it should be applicable exchange rate.

It isn’t accepted postal expeditions. The documents must be delivered and later picked up in person or through a representative of the company at the Chamber of Commerce. It recommended the involvement of a service company.

The current expenditure of the Chamber of Commerce together with the Consulate expenses are borne by the service provider, which will also give information on the documentation to be submitted. Some service companies, delivering documents, anticipate the amounts and then add them in the invoice together with the fee for their services.

Usuals documents, as well as:

a) Commercial Invoices (4 copies): for customs clearance invoices in English are required, signed with all the commercial markings. The country of origin must be specified (for Swiss goods: Swiss). Costs CIF must be listed in detail. They do not accept facsimile signatures. Invoices must be certified by the Chamber of Commerce. An original certified copy of the commercial invoice and a photocopy thereof must be delivered together with the certificate of origin by the Chamber of Commerce at the embassy consular services (and remain at the embassy). Generally it is not requested a legalized invoice by the consulate, but in practice it is requested;

b) For all the goods it’s needed the certificate of origin in 2 copies and it’s necessary specify the country of the sender’s origin (Switzerland). The back of the certificate of origin must include the following statement: “We hereby declare that the goods are of pure … national origin of the exporting country and that the goods are manufactured by … “. If certain elements of foreign origin have been incorporated into the product being exported by the exporting country, it’s needed to specify the source and the proportions of these elements. The necessary legalization of certificates of origin by the Libyan embassies or other foreign entities has been cancelled as of 24.01.2011;

c) Manufacturer’s Statement on headed paper (1 copy) to be presented as follows: “We hereby declare that the goods indicated in the attached certificate of origin, certified by the Chamber of Commerce … were produced by …”.

d) Packs with air shipment up to 20 kg: 1 sheet foreign expedition, 2 customs declarations (English / French / Arabic);

e) Bill of lading not enslaved.

Transportation statements: the following transport declarations are reconcilable with section 4a of the Regulation on Foreign Trade (further draft texts by the Chamber of Commerce): “The undersigned herewith declares on behalf of the owner, agent or captain of the ship / plane over mentioned that this ship / aircraft is not registered in Israel as owned by citizens or residents of Israel and will not make direct or will transit from any Israeli port on the way to … (eg. Libya)”.

We also wish to emphasize that such transport statements can be exclusively delivered for technical reasons of insurance, for example, to prevent the goods to be seized in the sea or in the air.