Tunisian fruit shipments to Libya continue by sea freight, as land border trade remains blocked

By Sami Zaptia.

London, 25 September 2020:

The first shipment of Tunisian fruit via sea freight to Libya is scheduled for 25 September from Sousse to Tripoli, a GI Fruits official, representing Tunisia’s fruit exporters, was quoted by Tunisian news agency TAP today. A second shipment is due from Sfax to Tripoli and Misrata and a third from Bizerte to Tripoli on 4 October.

There is no such good news, however, for land-based bilateral trade. Tunisian media (Tuniscope/Mosaique) reported that the blockade of the main road to the Tunisian-Libyan border has continued for the 15th consecutive day. The blockade on the Tunisian side is by hard-hit locals suffering from the lack of small-scale passenger trade with Libya.

It will be recalled that trade by truck had been continuing for months, but locals engaged in trade by crossing the border, including the smuggling of cheaper or subsidised Libyan goods, had been stopped as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The continuation of the blockade has led to hundreds of Tunisian trucks loaded with fruit and vegetables giving up on attempting to deliver their loads to the Libyan border. Tunisian media said they have decided to try and sell their goods at Tunisian wholesale markets instead.


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