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flag Libya Libya: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier

 

Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Main International Economic Cooperation
Libya is a member of the Arab Monetary Fund, the Council of Arab Economic Unity, the Islamic Development Bank, OPEC and the AMU. Since 2004, Libya has been an observer at the WTO prior to becoming a member. The country is also part of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), a pact of the Arab League entered into force in January 2005 which aims to form an Arabic free trade area.
Non Tariff Barriers
Since 2003, importing goods into Libya is no longer subject to import license but all imports must be accompanied by a certificate of origin.

Since January 1998 the Libyan Customs tariff has used the simplified harmonized system. It is prohibited to import seventeen "luxury" or locally manufactured products, and they are set out in a list appended to the decree of the General Popular Committee for Economy and Trade number 475 of July 2005 amending the list published in the decree number 84 of 5 June 2003. For example:
- live pigs, their flesh, fat, and skin and their derivatives.
- wines and alcoholic drinks.
- fresh fruit (citrus fruit, grapes, figs, apricots, watermelons, dates, plums and peaches), olive oil, fresh, frozen, dried or ground vegetables for consumption, except dried pulses.
- natural and sparkling mineral waters.
- traditional clothes.

The General Authority for Control of Commodities and Products created in 2005 and which brings together the National Center for Control of Foodstuffs and Medecines, the Veterinary Quarantine Unit and the Agricultural Quarantine Unit has several offices in the main towns. Its role is to control all imported products, to register them and draw up certifications, etc.

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs duties on imported goods were abolished on 1 August 2005 and replaced by a 4% tax called "port services tax" which concerns all except 85 products. The latter are also subject to a 2% production tax and a 25 or 50% consumption tax.


Customs Classification
 The latest modifications to Libyan duties date from summer 2005. The general customs duty of 35%  has been replaced by what is known as a “port tax” of 4%.
Moreover, decree number 139 of 25 August 2005 divided 84 products into two lists:
- those that, as well as the port tax of 4%, are subject to a production tax of 2% and a consumption tax of 25%.
- those that, as well as the port tax of 4%, are subject to a production tax of 2% and a consumption tax of 50%.

Decree number 475 of 6 July 2005 specifies the 17 products that it is forbidden to import.

In addition, some products are exonerated from Customs duties, for example, equipment necessary for the completion of a project in Libya (see the Libyan investment agency)
Import Procedures
New laws concerning the Libyan legal framework are regularly voted. The latest modifications date from summer 2005.
Thus, the general customs duty of 35% that applied to 3 500 products has been replaced by what is known as a “port tax” of 4%.
Moreover, decree number 139 of 25 August 2005 divided 84 products into two lists:
- those that, as well as the port tax of 4%, are subject to a production tax of 2% and a consumption tax of 25%.
- those that, as well as the port tax of 4%, are subject to a production tax of 2% and a consumption tax of 50%. This last category groups 13 luxury products, such as works of art, vehicles of more than 3 000 cc, etc.

Decree number 475 of 6th July 2005 specifies the 17 products that it is forbidden to import.

Thanks to assistance given to those setting up in Libya, some products are exonerated from customs duties, for example, equipment necessary for the completion of a project in Libya (see the Libyan investment agency)
 
 
For Further Information
Libyan Customs (in Arab)
Ministry of Economy and Trade

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Libya on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
Consumers pay great attention to the price. It is also important to bring out the quality of the product and to get the sales message over gently.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
For the moment there is no developed middle class market in Libya.
Main Advertising Agencies
Advertising agencies in Libya

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Distributing a Product

Market Shares
 Retailing today still remains under state control. And yet, the Libyan authorities have encouraged the appearance of private operators by abolishing import licenses. The process of privatization has, however, been slowed down by the maintaining of subsidies on certain products, to the extent that today, they remain 90% subzidised and are distributed by the National Supply Company at extremely low prices.

In the large towns, shops resembling supermarkets are appearing: these are small trading companies (100 to 150m²), offering food products (dry and fresh products), and household products. The large foreign retail chains have not yet shown interest in this market, neither are there any local large and medium-sized supermarket chains. Non-food retail commerce has also kept its traditional structure with local shops and souks.

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
The Libyan asphalted road network covers 84 000 km. This network is in good condition, especially the road between Tunis and Tripoli and the road between Benghazi and Tobruk, which goes to Egypt. Rail transport has not worked since 1965 and the old infrastructure has been dismantled. However, a project is under construction.

 

Libya has 2 000 km of coastline. The main ports are those of Tripoli, Benghazi, Derna, Marsa al Burayqah, Misurata, Ras Lanuf, Tobruk, Al Khums and Zuwarah.
As for the plane, you can fly into Libya via the international airports of Tripoli or Benghazi. The country has eight airports reserved for domestic flights.

Ports
List of all Libyan ports
Airports
List of Libyan airports and links to them

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
Industrial sector represent nearly 80% of GDP. The country has enormous oil reserves which represent about 97% of total export revenue, 75% of government revenue and 54% of GDP. Moreover, gypsum, salt and limestone are produced in significant quantities. Industry is less developed, but the main sectors are oil refining, industrial food preparation, textiles and cement.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Boma Libya - Drilling and well services companies, exploration & production companies.
Eyoon - Business directory for several countries in Africa and in the Middle East.
Libyan yellow pages - Find a business in Libya.
Libyanspider - Libyan business directory.
 
 
 
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Libyan Chambers of Commerce
 
 

Learn more about Service Providers in Libya on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Learn more about Sales in Libya on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014