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Monday, December 18, 2017

Latest advice on Qatar

Six Arab governments, including Egypt, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday 5 June.

The nations, which also include Yemen, Libya’s eastern government, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, have cited Qatar’s support for Islamist groups and alleged meddling in the affairs of other States.

INTERTANKO is aware that a growing number of ports in these countries have placed restrictions on vessels calling at Qatar or that have come from a Qatari port.

Here follows a summary of what INTERTANKO has been made aware of so far:

UAE
UAE Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime has issued a Marine Notice stating:

“With reference to the decisions issued by the Government of United Arab Emirates on severing relations with State of Qatar, all UAE ports implement the following:

  1. Not to receive any Qatari-Flag vessel or ships owned by Qatari companies or Qatari individuals.
  2. Not to load/unload any cargo of Qatari origin in any port or water of UAE.
  3. Not to allow ships to load any cargo of UAE origin that is destined for the State of Qatar.

Kindly inform and alert those concerned to implement strictly.”

Bahrain
The Ports and Maritime Affairs at Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications has advised: “All Bahrain Ports and territorial waters will remain suspended for marine navigation from and to State of Qatar effective from 6 June 2017.”

Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Ports Authority has advised that all vessels bearing the Flag of Qatar, owned by a Qatari company/individual or carrying Qatari personnel will be denied entry into all Saudi ports. Any goods of Qatari origin or issued by Qatar should also not be discharged in Saudi ports.

Egypt
Egypt has announced it will adhere to the Constantinople Agreement and allow free passage to Qatar vessels using the Suez Canal.

The Constantinople Agreement means that Egypt is prevented from forbidding free passage of any vessel through the Suez Canal unless there is a war between Egypt and that country.

There are, however, conflicting reports regarding the use of ports in Egypt.

Advice to INTERTANKO Members
INTERTANKO advises Members of the following:

  • Charterparties should be reviewed to establish whether they include a provision that specifically addresses blockades.
  • Ensure future charterparty arrangements contain suitable and appropriate contractual wording and clauses that will allow them to address the potential consequences of the Qatar sanctions.
  • Note that P&I cover might be adversely affected. 
  • Seek local advice from your agents and P&I club to confirm the applicable restrictions.

Tanker chartering
Here is a summary of what INTERTANKO understands following feedback from our Members…

  • Tanker charters have been concluded with Qatar being excluded from the load range.
  • Some charterers with Qatari barrels have reorganised and have chartered tonnage to load Qatar only.

INTERTANKO will keep Members updated on the latest developments affecting shipping in the region. However, we ask you to keep us informed of any restrictions (or lack of them) they may be aware of, or experience, by sending an email to Johan.Gahnström@intertanko.com 

Contact: Johan Gahnström