As part of the Libyan government’s plan to move forward towards establishing e-government, the Ministry of Economy (MoE) has begun to digitise its databases. As a result, the MoE issued several resolutions in the last quarter of 2021. Most of the said resolutions set the scene for converting the data in traditional files to an electronic database. They are also concerned with regulating when and how it will be conducted
In this regard, Decree No. (935) of 2021 on the availability of corporate names electronically provides that the issuance of electronic certificates on the availability of corporate names shall start from 1st January 2022. This service will be provided through the unified electronic service platform. Negative Name Letter
Similarly, the Minister of Economy issued another Decree No. (221) of 2021 on adopting an electronic ID number for companies in the Commercial Registry. The Commercial Registry offices are the authority that would provide different companies working in Libya with the electronic ID. This shall be done through the unified electronic service platform. Moreover, the electronic ID number is the way through which companies will be identified and distinguished, and it is prohibited to perform any financial or administrative paperwork of any company without the said ID number. Furthermore, all registered companies must comply with this Decree and rectify their registration accordingly. Significantly, Article (5) obliges all government departments to disregard the commercial registers issued in violation of this decree from 11 February 2022.
In correspondence, the Libyan Central Bank (LCB) sent a letter of instruction to all banks in Libya (letter ref no. 246/2021), in which LCB instructs all banks to meet Decree (221) requirements. One of the state-owned banks has already produced an electronic database and was on trial last December.
In another recent development, the Minister of Economy issued Decree No. (531) of 2021 on permitting the incorporation of companies outside the banking sector. It obliges insurance companies, financial investment companies, and companies operating in the non-banking financial system to obtain permission from the Stock Exchange Board before incorporation and registration in the commercial registry.
Furthermore, for those who provide professional medical services and importation of medicine, Decree No. (412) of 2021 provides that it is strictly prohibited to establish, renew or amend records of clinics and companies that import medicines through commercial registry offices, commercial licensing offices and the importation registry without the approval of the Ministry of Health.
Additionally, Decree No. (139) of 2021 on adopting a template for guiding articles of association for holding companies stipulates that all holdings, whether newly established or already existing, must adopt the guidance on articles of association.
Finally, Decree No. (273) of 16/8/2021 added extra fees on companies that want to register their projects under Investment Law.
It remains to be seen to what extent the Libyan government will pursue the full implementation of these decrees.