Banking, Money and Taxes in Libya

Expat banking in Libya is non-existent at this time. In line with Libya's past policy of isolationism, opening a bank account is a right reserved for Libyan nationals and Libyan companies.

Consequently, most expats have their salary paid off-shore and remit only what they need into Libya.

Libya is a cash economy and credit cards are seldom used. There are a limited number of ATMs in Tripoli and Benghazi, run by foreign banks charging high rates for use. Some of these machines accept only VISA while others will take both VISA and Mastercard.

Expats withdrawing money in Libya from off-shore banks will want to arrange accounts with major international players; many of the small credit union banks have trouble connecting with the ATMs in Libya. Furthermore, it is advised to set a maximum daily limit on the ATM card before relocation as a precaution against theft.

Money can easily be wired into Libya using Western Union and MoneyGram, although transaction limits apply.

When leaving Libya to go to another country for a vacation, be sure to get a receipt for any money exchanged at the bank. Sometimes, in an attempt to minimise money laundering, the airport authorities will ask if an expat is taking any Libyan currency or even other currencies out of the country.

There is no direct taxation on expat employee salaries in Libya, but one will need to declare their income in one's country of origin and pay the required percentage of tax there.