By Libya Herald reporter.
London, 12 September 2015:
The Tripoli-based Ministry of Economy is claiming that it is ready to introduce an electronic . . .[restrict]import regulating system. The Tripoli authorities claim that this system was created by them recently using local Libyan knowhow.
However, in reality this Libya Trade Network (LTNET) was launched in 2013 at a workshop in Tripoli in cooperation with South Korea, as reported by Libya Herald at the time.
The electronic system links import licences with bank Letters of Credit (LCs) as well as the customs service to control and regulate the import process.
If as the Tripoli authorities reported at a workshop held in Tripoli last Thursday, the system is indeed activated, it will help the Libyan authorities in fighting import corruption and money-laundering with recent revelations of empty containers arriving at Libyan ports.
The online system is supposed to, in theory at least, reduce face to face transactions and hence corruption. Import licences are to be approved or declined online and LCs would only be released if specified goods actually arrive at Libyan ports.
The Ministry of Economy says that it would be able, through the new system, to monitor companies applying for import licences as well as monitor the quality of imported goods. It would also be able to monitor barred goods and goods emanating from barred countries.
This move comes on the back of a concerted drive by the Audit Bureau and the Central Bank of Libya to fight corruption centred around false LCs aimed at FX smuggling and money-laundering. [/restrict]