LNA SELF DECLARED "NO SAIL ZONE" (NSZ)
The NSZ was declared by the LNA in December 2015. The area is officially undefined in time and space; however some references indicate the area No Sail Zone stretches 10 nm into the waters along the coasts of Derna from approximately Ras al Teen to Susa, which was declared specifically to deter illegal weapon smuggling or other illegal goods to Libya.
There are occasional reports of commercial vessels being detained by LNA patrols along the north-eastern coast close to Derna. The seizures show that the LNA-forces consider the No Sail Zone as active. A number of arbitrary merchant vessel have been seized near the Cyrenaica coast. Vessels have been requested to divert to the coast in order to be inspected and finally detained. In order to be released a fine has to be paid to the LNA authorities. Some operators report even a US $100,000 'release fee' if seized by LNA units around Derna while sailing in a roughly-defined No Sail Zone.
NOTE: On 07 November 2021 German-flagged container ship VEGA SCORPIO was intercepted and detained by the Libyan National Army (LNA) for breaching the LNA self-declared "No Sail Zone" (NSZ) North-West of Ras al Hilal (Libya). She was subsequently escorted to the Ras al Hilal anchorage and released on 8 November .
There is an elevated threat of being detained if sailing too close to the coast of Derna. Based on this information we issue the following advice to merchant vessels:
- stay well clear of the Libyan shore.
- proceed with extreme caution to any Libyan port and seek further information from Libyan authorities and shipping agents,
- if hailed when transiting of the Libyan shore, take caution if you are requested to divert for inspection.
On 07 January 2022, the port of Benghazi Maritime authority reaffirmed the Maritime Exclusion Zone MEZ off Derna in North-Eastern Libya.
It is likely LNA detention of MV Rising Falcon follows previously reported cases in the LNA-declared MEZ. From this reason, merchant vessels are likely to be detained by authorities conducting policing in Libyan waters. Taking above mention into account it is recommended for merchant vessels to plan their voyage so that avoid the area completely. Even so, there has been cases where vessels have been boarded and subsequently detained also outside the reaffirmed MEZ.
EU NAVFOR MED OPERATION IRINI: The European Union has launched a military operation of the coast of Libya in order to enforce the UN Arms Embargo in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2292(2016) and Resolution 2578 (2021). In this perspective an increased amount of naval units can be expected
of the coast of Libya. Aerial, naval and satellite assets have been deployed to contribute to stemming the flow of weapons into Libya. To accomplish their task, the military forces carry out procedures known as hailing's, friendly approaches and boarding's. For more information see their homepage https://www.operationirini.eu/.