Qatar - Severance of Ties by UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Egypt - Update
As reported in our News Item of 6 June 2017, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain announced on 5 June 2017 that they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, as tensions escalate in the region over accusations of state sponsored terrorism.
The full extent of the impact this will have on shipping and trade to and from Qatar is yet to be seen. Since 5 June however the Club has received notification of restrictions being imposed by port authorities in the region and below is a summary of the restrictions which have been reported to-date:
United Arab Emirates
The UAE collectively has not issued a directive universally applying to all UAE Ports. Individual port authorities have however issued their own directives imposing the following restrictions:
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 be restricted in terms of cargo operations (loading or discharging) but also in respect of crew matters, bunkering, repairs or any other business. All vessels subject to these restrictions presently at Fujairah Port or anchorage have been ordered to leave UAE waters with immediate effect.
The Chief Harbour Master of Abu Dhabi Ports has issued a directive confirming that Qatari flagged vessels, vessels going to or arriving from Qatar (regardless of flag) and vessels having cargo destined or originating from Qatar will not be allowed to call at any port or anchorage under their control (Port Khalifa, Musaffa Port, Mina Syed Port).
Similarly, the Das Port Authority has confirmed that vessels with Qatari flag or under Qatari ownership, and vessels arriving from or destined to Qatar will be denied entry to the oil terminals within the petroleum ports at Abu Dhabi (including Das and Zirku Island). There is however no apparent restriction on cargo originating from or ultimately destined to Qatar.
Sharjah Sea Port Authority has issued a notice restricting the entry to vessels bound for or arriving from Qatar or any Qatari flagged vessels or vessels owned by Qatari nationals. Vessels also carrying cargo destined for Qatar including transit cargo will not be permitted to call at ports under their control irrespective of the purpose of call. Included within the Sharjah Sea Port Authority’s jurisdiction are the ports of Hamriyah, Port Khalid and Khor Fakkan.
Dubai Ports World has issued notice that vessels under Qatari ownership or flag will not be permitted to enter any DP World-controlled port (Jebel Ali Port, Hamriya Port, Port Rashid), including anchorage areas. The circular also prohibits vessels bound for or coming from any Qatari port as its last/next port of call from entering any DP World port, irrespective of the flag. Vessels loading or discharging cargo destined to or for Qatar will also be denied entry.
The Bahrain Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications has confirmed in a Notice to Mariners that entry into Bahrain ports and navigation through its territorial waters are suspended for vessels bound for or departing from Qatar.
The General Organization of Saudi Sea Ports Authority has issued a circular confirming restrictions for all Qatari flagged vessels and vessels owned and operated by Qatari nationals. Furthermore, cargoes originating from Qatar will be refused permission for discharge.
No official announcement has been made.Importantly however Suez Canal transit has not, to-date, been restricted and passage is permitted to all vessels subject to normal compliance with the usual rules of navigation.
The Club will update Members further as soon as information is available. In the meantime, Members should contact the Club with any specific queries.