LEBANON BACKGROUND CHECK

General Information

GDP USD42.945bn (World ranking 83, World Bank 2012)
Population 4.43 million (World ranking 123, World Bank 2012)
Form of state Republic
Head of government PM Tamam Salam
Next elections 2014, legislative

CURRENT LOCAL TIME

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PRODUCTS IN LEBANON

Summary

Lebanon GDP Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
GDP 44.35 43.21 44.35 2.72 USD Billion
GDP Annual Growth Rate 2.00 1.00 83.28 -56.99 percent
GDP Constant Prices 49991800.00 42583013.47 49991800.00 8969617.28 LBP Million
GDP per capita 7240.66 7079.12 7240.66 2807.70 USD
GDP per capita PPP 16622.94 16632.87 16632.87 7734.35 USD

Who can apply?

• Residents and non-residents may apply.
• Applicants and appointed direct family members may apply.
• Third parties and UK employers may not apply.

Where?

Local
• Lebanese citizens living abroad can request that a direct relative (spouse, sibling or parent and or/child over the age of 18) submit on their behalf
to the Directorate General of Interior Security Forces in the Judicial Department.
Overseas
• For applicants living in the United Kingdom, applicants can be submitted in person or by mail to the Lebanese Embassy.

What must the applicant supply?

• All applicants should include a letter signed by themselves requesting the criminal record, stating the last address they lived at in Lebanon. In the covering letter, non-Lebanese Nationals should also mention the period of their stay in the country, and the name and address of the company they worked for.
In addition Lebanese nationals should provide of one of the following:
• Copy of Lebanese identification document
• A copy of the Family Civil Extract
• The Individual Civil Extract
• Lebanese identification card Non-Lebanese Nationals:
• A copy of their passport Palestinian Refugees need to provide one of the following documents:
• The Family Registry special for Palestinian Refugees registered in Lebanon
• The Individual Registry special for Palestinian Refugees registered in Lebanon
• Passport

What are the costs / turnaround times?

• There are no fees for the criminal record check in its original Arabic version issued in Lebanon.
The turnaround for the application is up to three months if submitted through the Embassy.
• If urgent, the same day if submitted directly in Lebanon (for Lebanese nationals only).

• The Lebanese Embassy in London provides the service of translation and legalisation of the criminal record check for a fee of £15.

What does the police criminal record check include?

• His or her name
• Mother and fathers‟ names
• Nationality
• Place and date of birth
• If the person has been convicted the date of the judgement will show, the type of crime, and the period of sentence served.
• If he/she is clear „no judgement‟ will be displayed.
• Arabic document
• Stamped on the bottom left hand corner signed with a record number in the bottom left hand corner

Contact Details

Lebanon:
Directorate General of the Interior Security Forces in Lebanon
Judicial
Department
Beirut
Furn El Chebbak Street
Tel: 01/292880 and 02/292885
United Kingdom:
Embassy of Lebanon
15 Palace Gardens Mews
London
W8 4RA
Tel: 020 77276696
Fax: 020 72431699
For any more information go to www.informs.gov.lb/www.lebaneseembassyuk.org

Risk

Sovereign risk

Lebanon’s CCC sovereign risk rating reflects high levels of government debt, persistent, albeit declining, large fiscal deficits and a highly uncertain political environment. Revenue collection will improve as economic growth picks up and lower subsidy costs should keep spending growth in check, but the fiscal debt burden will stay high. However, effective management of debt-servicing schedules means that an immediate payments crisis is unlikely.

Banking sector risk

Lebanon’s banks have sizeable reserves and are well capitalised, suggesting that they have ample capacity to recover from losses should the need arise. Despite the sluggish economy, asset quality has remained relatively healthy. Banking regulation is likely to be tightened to improve transparency and prevent money-laundering.

Political risk

The political environment will remain highly unstable as Lebanon struggles with the fallout from Syria’s civil war. Parliament remains divided over appointing a new president, and the legislative election has been postponed to 2017. Sectarian violence has increased and there is a risk of further escalation as Sunni militants gain inspiration from the violence in Iraq and Syria.

Economic structure risk

Lebanon’s services-oriented economy is highly sensitive to political uncertainty. The large public debt stock limits the government’s ability to invest in more productive sectors and crowds out private-sector activity. The current-account deficit, although falling, remains high and is also a concern. Development of Lebanon’s oil and gas potential is being hindered by political risk, with repeated delays to exploration licence auctions.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

The security situation in Lebanon is unpredictable. There is currently a high threat of terrorist attacks, and these could occur at any time in the country. The conflict in Syria, and its effect on pre-existing tensions, is playing an increasingly destabilizing role in Lebanon.

While most security incidents in Beirut take place in the city’s southern suburbs, on December 27, 2013, a car bomb exploded in downtown Beirut, targeting Mohamad Chatah, Lebanon’s former finance minister. The blast killed five people, including Dr. Chatah, and injured more than 70 others.

Bombings, grenade attacks, political assassinations, gun battles, targeted vehicle explosions and shelling in commercial and residential districts in and around Beirut have caused numerous deaths and injuries in recent years. Groups supporting either side in the Syrian conflict, senior political figures, key security officials, and security checkpoints throughout Lebanon continue to be the main targets of attacks. Security forces are on high alert.

Forces other than the Lebanese authorities exert a large amount of control in some areas, which may delay or prevent Canadian officials from providing assistance to Canadians in these areas. Most notably, Hezbollah maintains a presence in the southern suburbs of Beirut, southern Lebanon and several other areas, including the northern Bekaa Valley.

Southern suburbs of Beirut (see Advisory)

Large parts of Beirut’s southern suburbs are controlled by armed groups, such as Hezbollah, in addition to the Lebanese government’s security forces. Since mid-2013, these neighbourhoods have been frequently targeted by terrorist attacks that cause deaths and injuries. Tactics used by terrorists include car bombing, suicide bombing and rocket fire.

Road blocks and demonstrations are also likely, and the latter may turn violent without notice. Avoid all affected areas, monitor local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Although Bir Hassan is excluded from our advisory, Iranian interests in the neighborhood have been subject to sporadic attacks since November 2013. When in Bir Hassan, be aware of your surroundings at all times.

North Lebanon (see Advisory)

The security situation in northern Lebanon is unstable. Tripoli has been particularly polarized by the conflict in Syria, and the neighborhoods of Bab al Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen regularly experience inter-communal violence, which may spread to outlying areas. Heavy weapons fire (machine guns, grenades and rocket-propelled grenades) and sniper activity are common, inevitably causing deaths and injuries. Lebanese security forces are conducting operations in northern Lebanon to restore order. They are authorized to use lethal force, and have clashed with militants in the area. Avoid affected areas, monitor local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Border region with Syria and the northern Bekaa Valley (see Advisory)

The security situation in regions bordering Syria has deteriorated as a result of the ongoing conflict in that country. Armed groups such as the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Lebanese and Syrian military, often carry out operations in the Arsal region, including shelling and incursions, and these have resulted in deaths and injuries. Similar attacks may occur in other areas near the eastern border of Lebanon with Syria. Tensions between armed groups have also increased in border areas, resulting in kidnappings and frequent violent clashes.

Exercise extreme caution and remain aware of your whereabouts, as the border is not always clearly demarcated.

Abra (see Advisory)

There have been violent clashes between the LAF and local militias in the Abra area, near Saïda. Heavy weapons fire (machine guns, grenades and rocket-propelled grenades) and sniper activity in Abra have caused numerous deaths and injuries, and violence occasionally spills over into parts of Saïda. Exercise caution, avoid affected areas, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local news reports.

Areas south of the Litani River (see Advisory)

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) maintains additional peacekeepers south of the Litani River near the border with Israel as a result of the border conflict. This region remains highly militarized and volatile. Rocket launches and border incidents occasionally occur, provoking retaliatory attacks in this region and elsewhere in Lebanon, and causing injury and death.

Forces other than the Lebanese authorities exert significant control over parts of this region. Access restrictions may delay or prevent Canadian officials from providing assistance to citizens in these areas.

Lebanon and Israel have not agreed on an international border. The UN enforces the œBlue Line, which separates the two countries but has not been fully demarcated. Areas adjacent to the Blue Line are often heavily mined. The areas of Ghajar, Kfar Shouba Hills and Shebaa Farms are still inaccessible from Lebanon. The border with Israel is closed.

If you are travelling to the city of Tyre, use only the main coastal highway.

Palestinian refugee camps (see Advisory)

The security situation in Palestinian refugee camps remains tense and unpredictable. Violence is common in some camps -particularly Ein el Helwe near Saïda, and Beddawi near Tripoli- and often triggered as a result of regional events.

As the refugee camps are often located close to urban centers and are not always visibly demarcated, exercise caution and remain aware of your whereabouts at all times in order to avoid unknowingly entering a camp.

Kidnapping

Sectarian- and politically-motivated kidnappings are increasingly frequent in the border areas with Syria and the Bekaa Valley. In the southern suburbs of Beirut, foreigners and residents have been held against their will. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times. Although most incidents of kidnapping typically involve Lebanese residents, foreign residents have been held for ransom.

Demonstrations

Planned and spontaneous demonstrations related to the domestic and regional situation regularly occur in Lebanon. While there have been no reports of injuries, some demonstrations have led to roadblocks, the burning of tires and the firing of weapons. In some instances, the LAF have erected checkpoints to manage protests.

The road to the airport is subject to sporadic closure, due to various factors including local sectarian clashes, civil unrest in Syria and protests against government policies. Access to the airport may be unavailable for extended periods if the security situation deteriorates.

Monitor current developments closely when travelling within Lebanon, as local conditions may change rapidly and without warning, compromising your mobility and safety. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. You should also observe all warnings issued by Lebanese authorities and take appropriate precautions.

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), the international body investigating the assassination of Rafik Hariri, former prime minister, has indicted suspects and begun trying them. Releases of information related to the trial has led to unrest. Monitor media reports pertaining to the STL and keep informed of any political and security development.

Landmines

Landmines and unexplored ordnance continue to pose a significant threat, particularly in the south, despite progress in demising activities. Be aware of posted landmine warnings, stay on paved roads and avoid walking or driving cross-country. Recently, various reports have indicated that Syrian troops planted landmines along its border with northern Lebanon.

Crime

The crime rate is increasing; petty crime, car thefts and residential break-ins occur more frequently. Exercise additional safety precautions.

Foreigners using shared transportation have been victims of armed robberies, either by the driver or other passengers.

Transportation

Congestion and aggressive driving are serious problems throughout the country, and drivers have little regard for traffic laws. Road accidents causing injury or death are common in Lebanon. At night, road lighting is sporadic and unreliable in urban areas and virtually non-existent in rural areas. Many drivers use their high beams exclusively, often creating a serious hazard due to blinding glare. Mountain roads may be subject to fog, heavy snow, ice and other hazardous conditions during winter months.

Lebanese drivers are unaccustomed to sharing the road with bicycles. Exercise great caution when cycling.

Pedestrians should be extremely careful at all times.

Do not use shared or service taxis. On February 3, 2014, there was an explosion on a minibus in the Choueifat area of Beirut. Pre-arrange transportation with a reputable company: don’t hail taxis in the street.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General safety information

Ensure that your personal belongings and passports and other travel documents are secure. Keep photocopies of all your documents in safekeeping facilities.

There is a highly visible security presence throughout the country. Carry personal documentation with you and obey the instructions of Lebanese security authorities.

Emergency services

Dial (01) 343-286 to reach the Tourist Police.

Address Format

RECIPIENT

[BUILDING]
[HOUSE_NUMBER] STREET_NAME [SUBBUILDING]
LOCALITY POSTALCODE
LEBANON

Sample

Mr. Walid
235 Australia Street 2nd floor
RAOUCHEH BEIRUT 2038 3054
LEBANON

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