Frequently Asked Questions
it safe to visit Libya?
and prospective residents should read the FCO Travel Advice at
This advises against all but essential travel to two coastal areas,
one of which includes the capital, Tripoli. Visitors should
therefore make their own decision as to whether a visit to Tripoli is
essential in light of their risk appetite. Further
information is available on the LBBC’s Risk Advisory page at
LBBC has taken the view that visiting Tripoli is essential for anyone
seeking business in Libya. We have taken several business
delegations to Tripoli, as have some other trade associations, and
some LBBC members have opened country offices staffed by UK
personnel. UK Trade & Information (UKTI) has a country team at
the British Embassy in order to promote bilateral trade and support
UK firms visiting the capital.
which are risk averse should think carefully before visiting Libya
(or many other developing markets) but may obtain reassurance, at
some cost, by engaging a risk advisory firm to advise and accompany
them during their visit to Tripoli. Several are members of the LBBC:
also need to take care on the roads and in traffic. The very poor
standard of driving lands Libya with a relatively high incidence of
fatal accidents and others causing serious injury. Crime levels have
also risen, albeit from a low base.
travel insurance doesn’t cover me for travel to Libya
Travel Insurance provides cover for visits to Tripoli at a highly
competitive premium. See the link on the LBBC Home page and obtain
an online quote.
do I get a visa to visit Libya?
can obtain the Visa Authorisation (letter of invitation) from Libya
which you will need before you can submit your visa application at
the Libyan Consulate in London. Click on the Libyan Business Visas
box on the Home page or follow
is the Libyan Consulate?
Libyan Consulate is in the Basement office at 61-62 Ennismore
Gardens, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1NH. Follow Kensington Road from
Knightsbridge until you come to Ennismore Gardens on your left.
should I stay in Tripoli?
British visitors, including the LBBC and its business delegations,
stay at the five star Corinthia or Al Mahary Radisson Blu hotels or
the four star Al Waddan.
is the British Embassy in Tripoli?
British Embassy is situated on the 24th
Floor of the Tripoli Towers (Bourj Trabulus, formerly Bourj al-Fateh)
in Tripoli and can be contacted by telephone on +218 (0)21 335
1084/5/6 and by email (for commercial enquiries) at
For more information on the Embassy and its services, see
do I get round Tripoli?
larger hotels will be able to arrange transport but a less expensive
option will be to engage a local transport firm direct, such as Al
Jadeda Tours (email@example.com). If you engage a risk advisory firm to escort you during your visit, they
will provide transport, but this is an expensive option.
can I learn more about Libya?
Useful Documents & Links in the News & Information drop down
menu on our Home page or click on
Further up to date reports can be found by clicking
or the Libya Herald box on our Home page
I help Libyan business contacts visit the UK?
need a visa to visit the UK and should apply for a Visit visa as a
Business Visitor. From Monday, 10 March 2014, they will book an
appointment and submit their application online at
can help them by providing them with a letter of invitation on
your official headed paper confirming who they will be visiting,
staying with or supported by during their visit. If their visit is
genuinely urgent or the application process is exceptionally delayed
(96% of Libyan visa applications are processed within 15 days), we
may be able to help expedite matters or obtain an explanation. If
this is the case, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help, we will need a reference number for the application,
beginning with GWF.
do I do business in Libya?
up a business in Libya is currently regulated by Ministerial Decree
207 (2012) as amended by Ministerial Decree 22 (2013). Foreign
companies must register a presence to operate in the country although
this is not necessary if you are exporting goods direct to a Libyan
client. A Libyan presence can take the form of a representative
office, a branch or a joint venture with a Libyan partner (a
representative office can engage in marketing but not commercial
activity). Foreign investors may also establish investment
enterprises under Investment Law 9 (2010) and these may be wholly
owned or in joint venture with a Libyan partner. The Misurata Free
Zone operates under a separate regime governed by Law 9 (2000).
These several laws and decrees provide for a range of benefits and
restrictions, such as the requirement for the Libyan partner in any
joint venture to own at least 51% of the enterprise. The British
Embassy in Tripoli has produced a Doing Business in Libya Guide which
provides more detailed advice at
you should obtain legal and tax advice before starting a business in
or with Libya. See
for details of law firms which are members of the LBBC. Clyde &
Co have an office in Tripoli.
taxes will I pay?
are subject on a deemed profit approach to Corporation Tax (20%),
Income Tax (variable rates) and Jihad Tax (4%). Stamp Duty (1-1.5%)
is payable on contracts, invoices and other documents but dividends,
interest and royalties are not subject to withholding tax. There is
no VAT or sales tax. The tax regime is complex and you should seek
advice from an accountancy firm. See
for UK accountancy firms which are LBBC members. Deloitte and PwC
have accountancy staff in Tripoli.
I need to translate material into Arabic?
is the official language although English is Libya’s second
language and is widely spoken by business people. Your business
cards and trade literature should be printed in both languages and
written correspondence should preferably be in Arabic. Your legal
adviser will be able to tell you which documents must be in Arabic
when doing business with government-owned entities. As an LBBC
member, you will be able to obtain English/Arabic translation and
vice versa at government rates (undercutting standard commercial
rates) from the LBBC’s preferred translation company, Ebla
translations (see LBBC website for
Do goods and services imported into Libya require a Certificate of Inspection?
Yes, Following publication of a Resolution by the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya on May 10, 2015, all goods and services imported to Libya will require a Certificate of Inspection. The new Resolution regulates the use of foreign exchange for opening documentary letters of credit (L/C). With immediate effect all goods and services imported to Libya must present a Certificate of Inspection issued by an international inspection company, in order to be financed through a documentary L/C from a commercial bank. For more detailed information, see this document, supplied by SGS, the world's leading inspection,verification, testing and certification company.
To view the Libyan Central Bank's resolution (April 2015) on this subject click here.