Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI - Results report - September 2021

05/10/2021 - 16:38
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Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI was launched by the European Union on 31 March 2020 as part of the EU contribution to the Berlin process and the return of peace and stability to Libya.


The core task of the Operation is the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya. As secondary tasks, the Operation is mandated to contribute to the implementation of UN measures to prevent the illicit export of petroleum from Libya; to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks; to capacity building and training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy.

Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI is the only international actor implementing the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on the arms embargo on Libya and does so in an effective, impartial and balanced manner.

Since its launch, Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI has boarded and inspected 20 suspect vessels. One vessel out of 20 was diverted to a port of an EU Member State where its cargo was seized. On six occasions, one flag State (Turkey) denied the consent to board and inspect suspect vessels. 4.002 merchant vessels have been investigated through request of information via radio calls while 183 vessels have been visited upon their Masters’ consent (so-called friendly approaches).

Furthermore, EUNAVFOR MED IRINI investigated 610 suspect flights, 25 airports and 16 ports, and provided 31 special reports to the UN Panel of Expert on Libya, 26 of which referred to violations or possible violations of the arms embargo and oil smuggling activities in the West and in the East of the Country. Finally, through the embedded Crime Information Cell, the operation issued to the relevant Law Enforcement agencies 48 recommendations of inspection of suspect vessels in EU Member States’ ports, 39 of which were conducted.

During the month of September, Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI investigated 215 merchant vessels via radio calls (out of 4.002), carried out 9 visits on ships with Masters’ consent (out of 183) and conducted two boarding/inspections of suspect vessels.

In September, the Operation also monitored 36 suspect flights (out of 610) and continued to monitor 25 airports (and landing strips) and 16 ports (and oil terminals). Through the Crime Information Cell, the Operation issued 7 (out of 48) recommendations of inspection of suspect vessels in EU Member States’ ports while 7 (out of 39) were completed.

All inspections or friendly approaches are always carried out in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions framework and in full respect of the international law.

Inspections and friendly approaches do not prejudge on the nature of activities of the vessels questioned or inspected. Moreover, all COVID-19 preventive measures are always implemented and respected during these activities that in no way can affect the nature of activities of the vessels.