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Doing Business in Lebanon
 

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut offers a wide range of services to help U.S. companies’ export to Lebanon. The U.S. Embassy counsels U.S. companies on market opportunities, regulations and ways of doing business in Lebanon, assists U.S. companies in identifying Lebanese agents and representatives for their products and services, conducts market research for U.S. companies, organizes trade fairs and seminars in Lebanon to promote U.S. products and services, identifies major projects and offers support to U.S. companies bidding for these projects, negotiates with the Lebanese government market access issues and barriers to trade and investment, mediates and resolves commercial disputes between U.S. and Lebanese companies.

For more information about our services, please visit our website: www.export.gov/Lebanon
Exporting to Lebanon
President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov two years ago, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Lebanon. 
Getting Started
Visit the www.export.gov/Lebanon to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities.  Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts. Read Lebanon’s Country Commercial Guide 2012.(please link to CCG 2012 PDF file).
Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Lebanon. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You (http://export.gov/eac/index.asp) 
Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs): Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.  
Contact in-country business support organizations such as the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce.(please link to http://www.amcham.org.lb)
Make use of U.S. Embassy Beirut services.(please link to http://export.gov/lebanon/servicesforu.s.companies/index.asp) 
  
Investing in Lebanon
Potential investors: Getting Started. 
If you are considering investment in Lebanon, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started: 
Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are planning a visit to consider investment, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page. 
Visit Lebanon resources, such as Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL). (please link to: http://www.idal.com.lb)
Contact local U.S. business support organizations, such as the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce. (please link to http://www.amcham.org.lb)
Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page <link> or Twitter feed <handle> Elisa Please Advise
Current investors: Staying Connected. 
If you are a current U.S. investor in Lebanon, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open: 
Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Lebanon, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page. 
Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed 
Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page <link> or Twitter feed <handle> Elisa Please Advise
Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise 
  
Working in Lebanon
In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.”
Then have a sub-section on Business visas with the current text from Visas. 
Business Visas
Visas are required for entry into Lebanon and may be obtained at Lebanese embassies and consulates (http://www.lebanonembassyus.org). Citizens of the following countries can obtain an entry visa upon the arrival at the Beirut International Airport: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Macau (S A R), Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey (exclusively at the airport), Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, USA, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yugoslavia. 
Travelers whose passports contain Israeli stamps or visas are routinely refused entry at the airport.  If holders of Arab passports possess passports that contain Israeli stamps or visas, they may be subject to arrest and imprisonment.  Persons, including dual national Lebanese, suspected of having traveled to or via Israel may also be subject to interrogation or detention.
U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following links.
State Department Visa Website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/
U.S. Embassy in Lebanon: http://lebanon.usembassy.gov 
Travel Advisories
Lebanon is one of several countries for which the U.S. Department of State has issued Travel Warnings because of long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. U.S. companies and visitors are advised to assess carefully the situation in Lebanon by consulting the Department's Travel Warning and its Consular Information Sheet at http://travel.state.gov. These documents contain essential security and safety information on travel to Lebanon.
FCPA
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.   
More information on the FCPA can be found here:  http://www.fcpa.us/
A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here: http://www.morganlewis.com/documents/fcpa/FCPAOpinionProcedureReleases.pdf

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut offers a wide range of services to help U.S. companies’ export to Lebanon. The U.S. Embassy counsels U.S. companies on market opportunities, regulations and ways of doing business in Lebanon, assists U.S. companies in identifying Lebanese agents and representatives for their products and services, conducts market research for U.S. companies, organizes trade fairs and seminars in Lebanon to promote U.S. products and services, identifies major projects and offers support to U.S. companies bidding for these projects, negotiates with the Lebanese government market access issues and barriers to trade and investment, mediates and resolves commercial disputes between U.S. and Lebanese companies.

For more information about our services, please visit our website: www.export.gov/Lebanon

Exporting to Lebanon

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov two years ago, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Lebanon. 

Getting Started

  1. Visit the www.export.gov/Lebanon to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities.  Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts. Read Lebanon’s Country Commercial Guide (right box).
  2. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You  
  3. Contact Lebanese business support organizations such as the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce.
  4. Make use of U.S. Embassy Beirut services.

Investing in Lebanon

Potential investors: Getting Started. 

If you are considering investment in Lebanon, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started: 

Current investors: Staying Connected. 

If you are a current U.S. investor in Lebanon, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open: 

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Lebanon, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page. 
  • Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed. 
  • Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise.   

Working in Lebanon

Business Visas

Visas are required for entry into Lebanon and may be obtained at Lebanese embassies and consulates (http://www.lebanonembassyus.org). Citizens of the following countries can obtain an entry visa upon the arrival at the Beirut International Airport: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Macau (S A R), Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey (exclusively at the airport), Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, USA, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yugoslavia. 

Travelers whose passports contain Israeli stamps or visas are routinely refused entry at the airport.  If holders of Arab passports possess passports that contain Israeli stamps or visas, they may be subject to arrest and imprisonment.  Persons, including dual national Lebanese, suspected of having traveled to or via Israel may also be subject to interrogation or detention.

U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following links.

State Department Visa Website: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html

U.S. Embassy in Lebanon: http://lebanon.usembassy.gov 

Travel Advisories

Lebanon is one of several countries for which the U.S. Department of State has issued Travel Warnings because of long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. U.S. companies and visitors are advised to assess carefully the situation in Lebanon by consulting the Department's Travel Warning and its Consular Information Sheet at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_6166.html. These documents contain essential security and safety information on travel to Lebanon.

FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.   

More information on the FCPA can be found here:  http://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/foreign-corrupt-practices-act

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here: http://www.morganlewis.com/documents/fcpa/FCPAOpinionProcedureReleases.pdf

Contact Us

  • Mr. Ted Bryan: Economic/Commercial Officer (hyperlink the name to mailto:BryanAT@state.gov) 
    Mr. Naaman Tayyar: Commercial Specialist (hyperlink the name to mailto:TayyarNA@state.gov)
    Mrs. Maya Barhouche Baroud: Commercial Assistant (hyperlink the name to mailto:BarhoucheME@state.gov)
    U.S. Embassy Lebanon
    P.O. Box 70-840 Awkar, Lebanon 
    Direct Line: +961-4-544860
    Fax: +961-4-541788
    Mr. John Rath

    U.S. Embassy Lebanon
    P.O. Box 70-840 Awkar, Lebanon 
    Direct Line: +961-4-544860
    Fax: +961-4-541788

2016 Commercial Guide

  • cover Lebanon was the 73rd largest market for U.S. exports in 2015, according to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics. The Lebanese Customs Authority reported that Lebanon’s total imports in 2015 reached USD 18.069 billion, of which USD 1.024 billion came from the United States.

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BusinessUSA.gov

  • Business USA Logo BusinessUSA.gov is the U.S. Government's official web portal to support business start-ups, growth, financing, and exporting.