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NATO Enforcement of Libyan Arms Embargo

By • Mar 31st, 2011 • Category: IGPI

From The London P and I Club

Members will be aware of the ongoing troubles in Libya and the various sanctions against Libya originally implemented by the UN, EU and USA (see the Club’s News Alert of 8 March 2011 for further details). Since then, the UN have passed a further resolution (UNSCR 1973 (2011)) implementing, amongst other things, a no fly zone and enforcement of an arms embargo (for a full copy of UNSCR 1973 (2011) click here).

NATO is supporting the arms embargo on Libya by having naval units patrol the vicinity of and outside Libyan territorial waters and has promulgated the following mandatory procedure for reporting as part of Operation Unified Protector:

“NAVAREA III 147/11 – in force

Eastern Mediterranean Sea North of Libya Territorial Waters NATO arms embargo operation in the vicinity of Libya territorial Waters

1. In accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 (26/02/2011) and 1973 (17/03/2011), NATO maritime forces are conducting arms embargo operations in the vicinity of Libya Territorial Waters.

2. Those operations are conducted in the Mediterranean Sea and systematically enforced in the following Maritime Surveillance Area:

– Northern border: the 35N parallel

– Western border: Tunisian Territorial Waters (not included)

– Eastern border: Egyptian Territorial Waters (not included)

– Southern Border: Libyan Territorial Waters (not included)

3. All Merchant vessels transiting in this area or inbound to Libya Territorial waters may be subject to hailing, queries or boarding from NATO naval and air units.

* All Merchant vessels transiting through this Maritime Surveillance Area are requested, 24hrs prior their entering in this area, to contact the NATO SHIPPING CENTRE (United Kingdom, contact details below): either via phone or fax / email to provide a Format ALFA report. The report must include the following information:

– IMO number

– DTG – Position / Speed / Course

– Last Port Of Call

– Next Port Of Call

– Port of Registry

Alternatively, a Format ALFA form (Ref ATP 2(B) is available at: (

* Also, all Merchant vessels inbound to Libya Territorial Waters are requested, when crossing the boundaries of the Maritime Surveillance Area, to contact the Head Quarters Maritime Command, Naples, Maritime Operations Centre (Italy, contact details below): either via phone or fax/email to provide the following information:

– IMO number



– Port of registry

4. This request for reports fully supports the embargo operations under the United Nations Security Council Resolution and is, therefore, mandatory. This measure is complementary of the action of NATO naval forces in the vicinity of Libya Territorial Waters. NATO priority is to reduce interferences and delays caused to merchant shipping traffic to its minimum. It is therefore highly recommended for merchant vessels transiting through this area to cooperate promptly with NATO forces. Consequently, failure to comply with that guidance will result in further investigations conducted by NATO naval units. This investigation will include detailed queries, boardings or even diversion to nearby ports for inspection and will cause major transit delays to merchant shipping.

5. Points of Contact: This operation is conducted by the NATO Head Quarters Maritime Command located in Naples (Italy). Its Maritime Operations Center is the main point of contact for any issue or information regarding the arms embargo: HQ MC Naples MOC free toll phone number: 00 800 1101 2010 HQ MC Naples MOC unclassified internet address:

6. Reminder: HQ MC Naples is already conducting Operation Active Endeavour, NATO operation against terrorism in the Mediterranean Sea. The MOC can also be contacted regarding this issue: HQ MC Naples MOC Operation Active Endeavour collect line: 0039 081 1970 65337.

For other issues, the NATO SHIPPING CENTRE (Northwood, United Kingdom), remains the main POC; e-mail: free phone: +44 1923 956574 free fax: +44 1923 956575”

In addition to the above, Members can find a map of the area covered by Operation Unified Protector and further background by clicking here.