Libya's internationally recognised government in Tripoli has quickly overturned a central bank decree requiring that all imports should be paid for on letter of credit (L/C) terms.

The finance ministry's decision to overrule the decree adds to some confusion over recent weeks about L/C requirements for importers.

Ministry ruling

Just last month the Central Bank of Libya (CBL)issued a decree requiring all imports to be paid for on L/C terms.

But the CBL decision has now been overturned by the finance ministry when it confirmed that its Customs Authority will allow, albeit for the time being, the import of goods not purchased on L/C terms.

Some confusion

Whether or not imports must be paid for on L/C terms has been a source of confusion over recent weeks.

In mid-November the Customs Authority warned that it would no longer release imported goods not purchased on L/C terms after the end of this year.

Warning to importers

The authority also warned that goods on non-L/C terms held at seaports and land ports not cleared through customs by 31 December 2020 or that arrive after that will be confiscated.

This apparently confirms a Tripoli-based government decree in August 2020 that said goods imported into Libya after 1 January 2021 must be paid for on L/C terms.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.