Over the past few years the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) has issued a number of orders and circulars informing owners, operators and managers of ships flying the Cyprus flag of restrictions on trade with Libya arising from sanctions imposed by the European Union.

In July 2015 and January 2016 the European Union adopted new legislative instruments concerning restrictive measures against Libya1 which consolidate and repeal previously issued EU instruments. The DMS has now issued a new circular2 summarising their requirements.

Cyprus ships may not be used to procure or transport to or from Libya any weapons, ammunition or similar goods, armed mercenary personnel or equipment which could be used for internal repression. There are exemptions for equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and for use by UN or similar personnel. Cyprus ships are also prohibited from transporting crude oil, except with prior authorisation from the DMS. Vessels bound to or from Libya are subject to inspection and must provide additional pre-arrival or predeparture information if visiting a port in Cyprus.


1 EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1333 of July 31 2015 repealing EU Council Decision 2011/137/CFSP and Council Regulation (EU) 2016/44 of January 18 2016 repealing Regulation (EU) 204/2011.

2 DMS Circular 9/2016 dated March 30 2016.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.