Sanctions in Respect of Ukraine & Russia – Transit through Kerch Strait
Our News Item of 8 August relayed advice from Club correspondents Dias Marine Consulting PC concerning vessels avoiding using Crimean ports in order to avoid potential problems with the Ukrainian authorities.
This included the port of Kerch, where additional advice was provided as to how the threat of any such problems might be minimised by conducting cargo operations beyond the 12nm limit.
On 25 July the EU published Regulation 810/2014. This expanded the list of individuals and entities to which travel bans and asset freezes have been applied. It is also prohibited to make economic resources available to these parties. Included in the list annexed to the Regulation are, inter alia, the following:
- State ferry enterprise "Kerch ferry"
- State enterprise "Sevastopol commercial seaport"
- State enterprise “Kerch commercial sea port"
It has recently come to light that “Kerch commercial sea port" exerts control over both the Kerch Strait and Kerch Canal, which vessels must use when transiting to and from the Sea of Azov. Canal dues for such transits must be paid to the port authority and any party doing so who is subject to EU jurisdiction may therefore technically be in breach of sanctions by paying funds to a sanctioned entity. The EU has acknowledged the issue and the International Group is seeking urgent clarification from them.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Regulation applies:
- within the territory of the Union, including its airspace;
- on board any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of a Member State;
- to any person inside or outside the territory of the Union who is a national of a Member State;
- to any legal person, entity or body, inside or outside the territory of the Union, which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State;
- to any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the Union.