Issued by US Department of State
Jun 29, 2004
This Travel Warning is being issued to announce the opening of the U.S. Liaison Office in Tripoli and the modification of economic sanctions. Libya remains on the U.S. Government's State Sponsors of Terrorism List. The United States Department of State warns U.S. citizens traveling to Libya to exercise caution. It notes that the U.S. Treasury Department's general license of February 26, 2004 (as amended on April 2, 2004) permits transactions relating to travel to, from, and within Libya and residence in Libya; the general license of April 23, 2004 allows virtually all other transactions. This Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Libya issued March 5, 2004.
The U.S. lifted restrictions on the use of U.S. passports for travel to Libya in February 2004. While Libya has taken steps to cooperate in the global war on terrorism, the Libyan Government remains on the U.S. Government's State Sponsors of Terrorism List. Although Libya appears to have curtailed its support for international terrorism, it may maintain residual contacts with some of its former terrorist clients.
Recent worldwide terrorist alerts have stated that extremist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in the region. Therefore, any American citizen who decides to travel to Libya should maintain a strong security posture by being aware of surroundings, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, and varying times and routes for all required travel. In light of these security concerns, U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.
On June 28, a U.S. Liaison Office opened in Tripoli. There is no consular officer included among the staff. Thus, due to limited staffing and interim facilities, only limited services are currently available to U.S. citizens.
United Nations sanctions on Libya were lifted on September 12, 2003. U.S. sanctions have been modified to permit most financial and commercial transactions. Technologies and goods on the Department of Commerce Export Control List must be licensed by the Department of Commerce for export to Libya.
The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control general license for transactions relating to travel to, from, and within Libya and residence in Libya remains operative. However, restrictions on payments no longer apply to these transactions; for example: the use in Libya of credit cards and checks drawn on U.S. banks is now permitted. However, because credit cards and checks on U.S. banks generally are not accepted in Libya, travelers should be prepared to engage in cash-only transactions while in Libya.
Americans who decide to travel to Libya despite this Travel Warning should exercise a high level of caution. Updated information on travel and security in Libya may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-317-472-2328. Those travelers should consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information sheet for Libya, which includes further details on the Treasury Department sanctions, and the current Worldwide Caution and Middle East and North Africa Public Announcements, which are available on the Department's Internet site at http://travel.state.gov.