The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain announced on 5th June 2017 that they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, as tensions escalate in the region over accusations of state sponsored terrorism.
Whilst it is too early to say what precise impact this will have on shipping and trade to / from Qatar, the Club has already been notified of certain directives being imposed.
United Arab Emirates
The UAE has not issued a directive universally applying to all UAE Ports. We have however been informed that the Port of Fujairah has issued a notice to mariners confirming the following:
All vessels, either flying the flag of Qatar or foreign flag vessels that have their last Port as Qatar or are destined for Qatar after Fujairah will not be allowed into Fujairah Port or anchorage. Such vessels will not only not be allowed for cargo purposes ( loading or discharging ) but also crew matters, bunkering, repairs or any other business. All vessels presently at Fujairah Port or Fujairah anchorage have been ordered to leave UAE waters with immediate effect.
The Chief Harbour Master of Abu Dhabi Ports has also issued a direction confirming that Qatari flagged vessels, vessels going to / arriving from Qatar (no matter the flag) and vessels having cargo destined or originating from Qatar will not be allowed to call at any port or anchorage under their control.
It is expected that the ports of Khorfakkan and Ras Al Khaimah are applying similar restrictions to Fujairah although no formal notice to mariners has been issued by the port authorities.
Presently vessels arriving at Jebel Ali and Sharjah from Qatar or departing for Qatari ports are being granted entry and clearance. We understand however that effective 0001 Hrs/6th June, it is likely vessels arriving from/proceeding to Qatar ports will not be granted entry and clearance.
The Bahrain Ministry of Trade and Transport has confirmed in a notice to mariners that vessels departing to or arriving from Qatar will not be granted clearance or entry as of 0001hrs 6th June.
The General Organization of Saudi Sea Ports Authority has announced to all shipping agents that they shall not allow entry into Saudi ports any Qatari flagged vessels, vessels owned by Qatari companies or individuals, or vessels carrying cargo of Qatari origin.
The Club will update Members further as soon as information is available. In the meantime, Members should contact the Club with any specific queries.
With thanks to One Maritime P&I Correspondents of Dubai for their assistance in preparing this notice.