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Member Alert

Member Alert

Göteborg: 18 July 2017

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, without any apparent notice,  closed their air space and territorial waters to Qatar. Saudi Arabia also closed its land border with Qatar, Qatar’s only land border with another country. Egypt has also closed its airspace to all flights to and from Qatar. The ban against Qatar may involve other countries such as Yemen. 

A direct consequence is that ports operated by the alliance against Qatar are now blocking Qatar-flagged vessels, along with all other vessels that are heading to and coming from Qatar. In addition, DP World UAE Region extended the ban to all vessels loading or discharging cargo destined to or coming from Qatar.

Practical implications for shipping

These developments mark an unprecedented change in Middle Eastern relations, which will undoubtedly affect companies with trade routes to or from Qatar. The following direct implications are envisaged:  

  • The shutting of the land border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Qatar is likely to create long queues/delays. 
  • Bunkering is likely to be affected. For instance, major bunkering ports such as Fujairah are refusing all vessels sailing to or from Qatar.
  • Cargo may not be allowed to be discharged onto feeder vessels to Qatar. In Fujairah, any Qatari cargoes already in port must be cleared within 24 hours.
  • There may be implications for crew/personnel for instance in relation to Fujairah port’s immigration regarding crews to join or to sign off vessels coming from or bound for Qatar. 
  • It has been reported some Saudi, UAE and Egyptian banks are suspending business with Qatari banks and in addition may payments in Qatari riyals generally be affected.

Members who are trading in the area are recommended to monitor developments closely. Charterparties should be reviewed  to establish whether they include a provision which specifically addresses blockades - for example CONWARTIME 2013 refers to "blockades (whether imposed against all vessels or imposed selectively against vessels of certain flags or ownership, or against certain cargoes or crews or otherwise howsoever)". 

Entry Restrictions to All Qatar Vessels and Cargoes.pdf

Insurance cover implications

The Club would like to inform its Members that the trading ban imposed on Qatar by its neighbouring states may be considered as a blockade/unlawful trade which might have implications on the Members’ insurance cover.

Country by country summary

United Arab Emirates

  • All Emirates flights to Qatar suspended.
  • All Fly Dubai flights to Qatar suspended.
  • All Air Arabia flights to Qatar suspended.
  • All Etihad flights to Qatar suspended.

Land border to Saudi Arabia (Sila border):

  • Export and import of all means of transport to Qatar prohibited
  • All goods destined for Qatar stopped
  • Only empty trucks with Qatari number plates can return back to Qatar

Abu Dhabi Ports (Port Khalifa, Musaffa Port, Mina Syed Port)

Following vessels and cargo categories are not allowed:

  • Qatari flag vessel or owned by Qatari Companies or Qatari individuals.
  • Vessels loading/discharging any cargo of Qatari origin.
  • Vessels loading any cargo of UAE origin destined for Qatar.

Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports (Ruwais Area)

Following vessels and cargo categories are not allowed:

  • Qatari flagged vessels or owned by Qatari Companies or Qatari individuals.
  • Vessels loading/discharging any cargo of Qatari origin.
  • Vessels loading any cargo of UAE origin destined for Qatar.

Port of Fujairah  

Following vessels and cargo categories are not allowed:

  • Qatari flagged vessels or owned/chartered by Qatari Companies or Qatari individuals or having Qatari nationals onboard. 
  • Vessels loading/discharging any cargo of Qatari origin.
  • Vessels loading any cargo of UAE origin destined for Qatar.
  • Vessels (excluding above mentioned category) are permitted to call offshore anchorage for husbandry matters such as bunkering, de-slopping, fresh water and food supplementing, technician's attendance, surveyor's attendance, repairing, diving operations etc. Vessels are however NOT permitted to carry out crew change, joining and repatriation of personnel during vessel's stay at Fujairah.
  • Port of Fujairah will accept the vessels as a normal offshore call with 10 days free offshore stay.

Jebel Ali Port, Hamriya Port, Port Rashid

The following vessels are not allowed in DP World, UAE Region port or its anchorage areas:

  • Qatari flagged vessels or owned by Qatari Companies or Qatari individuals.
  • Vessels loading/discharging any cargo of Qatari origin.
  • Vessels loading any cargo of UAE origin destined for Qatar.
  • Foreign flag vessels will be accepted at Jebel Ali Port calling from/going to Qatar Ports, as well as transit cargo to/from Qatar port is permitted except if on Qatari flagged/owned vessel.

For other vessels (not mentioned above) going to/coming from Qatar as last/next port of call, it is advised to take advance approvals from DP World and Seaport Immigration.

Saqr Port, Ras Al Khaimah Port, RAK Maritime City, Al Jazeera Port, Al Jeer Port including offshore anchorage

Following vessels and cargo categories are not allowed:

  • All Qatari flagged/owned vessels
  • Vessels loading/discharging cargo destined to/from Qatar
  • For vessels going to/coming from Qatar as last/next port of call (irrespective of flag), it is advisable to seek prior permission which can be done by the vessel agents.

Dubai Maritime City Authority - Dubai anchorage (or entering Dubai waters)

Following vessels and cargo categories are not allowed:

  • All Qatari flagged/owned vessels

Sharjah Port including anchorage area

Following vessels and cargo categories are not allowed:

  • Qatari flagged vessels or owned by Qatari Companies or Qatari individuals.
  • Vessels loading/discharging any cargo of Qatari origin.
  • Vessels loading any cargo of UAE origin destined for Qatar.
  • Foreign flag vessels (non-Qatari) carrying port clearance from Qatar ports will NOT be accepted, however a port clearance can be issued to a foreign flag vessel if sailing to Qatar ports “empty” (without any cargo onboard).

All other ports in the UAE

  • Qatari flagged vessels or owned by Qatari Companies or Qatari individuals.
  • Vessels loading/discharging any cargo of Qatari origin.
  • Vessels loading any cargo of UAE origin destined for Qatar.

 Saudi Arabia

  • Saudia airlines flights to Qatar suspended

Saudi Port Authorities:

Following vessels are not allowed to call any port or terminal in Saudi Arabia:

  • Carrying Qatar flag.
  • The owner has Qatari nationality.
  • The line is Qatar company.
  • The cargo is from Qatar.
  • No Qatari crew to enter Saudi Ports.

Saudi land border to Qatar (Abu Samra):

  • Boarder is closed for any cargo entering and leaving Qatar.

 Qatar

  • All Qatar Airways flights to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain suspended.
  • Advisory by CMA CGM regarding cost and options for import/export to/from Qatar. No official circular from any other lines.
  • Qatar Petroleum establishes bunker solution in Ras Laffan.

Oman

  • No restrictions as of now.
  • Milaha will start operating a feeder from Sohar to Doha this week and schedule is attached. Please be in touch with the lines for further updates.
  • Khasab Port (northern Oman) has agreed to issue port clearance.
  • Most container lines are routing shipments enroute to Qatar via Oman (Salalah or Sohar). Please be in touch with the lines for further updates.
  • Many container lines are now accepting new bookings to / from Doha via Oman. Please be in touch with the lines for further updates.

Khasab Port (northern Oman) has agreed to issue port clearance to vessels which are having difficulties going into or coming out of Qatari ports, according to local correspondents. Members are however advised to contact their local agents to arrange the port clearance and to check availability. Please take note of the following:

  • Port clearance issued at last port must show next port as Khasab, Oman. The port has a 300 m quay with a max draft of 8.5 m. If a berth is available clearance can be done alongside and if not, at anchorage.
  • Khasab port is still not a fully operational commercial port as such and hence, services such as pilot & tugs are not available. If a vessel wishes to come alongside berthing/un-berthing will have to be managed on its own, linesmen will be provided.
  • If clearance at anchorage we will have to use whatever boat service is available for collection/delivery of documents as there are no crew launches stationed in Khasab.

Egypt

  • All Egypt Air flights to Qatar Suspended.
  • Suez Canal transits allowed to all vessels/flags/nations subject to compliance with conditions stated in the present rules of navigation.
  • All Qatari vessels prohibited to enter into Egyptian ports.

 Bahrain

  • All Gulf Air flights to Qatar suspended
  • All Bahrain Ports and territorial waters will remain suspended for marine navigation from and to Qatar

 Kuwait

  • No restrictions as of now

 Iraq

  • No restrictions as of now

Member Alert is published by The Swedish Club as a service to members. While the information is believed correct, the Club cannot assume responsibility for completeness or accuracy.

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