Libya remains in a state of conflict, following the outbreak of Civil War in May 2014. Vessels transiting the Mediterranean are therefore advised to avoid Libyan waters, and vessels due to call at ports in Libya should exercise caution before doing so. Some parts of the country remain under the control of government forces, but many areas are now ruled by Islamic militia and other anti-government groups. As a result, it has become clear that commercial ships calling in Libya face a real risk of being subjected to military attack.
Commercial vessels have recently been attacked by military aircraft in the ports of Derna and Misrata, leading to significant damage and crew fatalities. On 9 January 2015, the Libyan Air Force is reported to have issued a notice stating that any vessels approaching the port of Misrata would be subjected to airstrikes. It has now been reported that, earlier today (16 January 2015), an oil tanker approaching the port of Benghazi was bombed. The Libyan National Army has claimed responsibility for the attack in Benghazi.
We have attached the latest update from the International Chamber of Shipping on this subject, for Members’ reference. The Club would advise any Members navigating in or near to Libyan Waters to speak to their P&I and War Risk Underwriters if they have any queries on the above.