By Sami Zaptia.
London, 22 February 2021:
A small demonstration was held in front of the entrance of Tripoli port yesterday against the introduction by the Customs Authority of the new Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN) system.
The demonstration was coordinated by the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce and included importers, customs brokers, shipping agents, truck drivers.
Reading out a statement on behalf of the demonstrators, a representative asked: in who’s interest does the ECTN serve? He said that Ministers who introduced the system were well paid and out of touch. He said the real stakeholders were not consulted on its introduction.
He stressed that ECTN will hurt the poorer people in society most, increasing prices by anything from 15-25 percent and has led to the blockage of goods in ports accruing fines to be paid in hard currency.
The demonstrators announced five demands:
- Stop the ECTN system immediately
- Release all goods currently blocked in Libyan ports
- The Ministry of Finance (the parent of the Customs Authority) must bear the port charges incurred due to ECTN delay
- A local system should be introduced to replace ECTN
- The government has 5 days to agree to these demands or there will be a strike by stakeholders