Qatar - Trading Prohibition
Members will be aware from international news reports that various Gulf nations - including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt - announced on 5 June 2017 that they will halt diplomatic and trading ties with Qatar. This includes the suspension of land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, and with Qatari citizens and diplomats given two weeks' notice to leave.
The Club has received updates from our local correspondents in the Gulf, which can be summarised as follows:
The Club Correspondent in Dubai, Gulf Agency Company (Dubai) LLC, reports that:"Jebel Ali immigration has announced that no vessels that are coming from Qatar will be permitted into the port and no clearance will be given to any port calling Qatar from Jebel Ali."
The Port of Fujairah issued a Notice to Mariners no. 224 dated 5 June 2017 advising that vessels flying flags of Qatar or vessels destined to or arrival from Qatar ports are not allowed to call Port of Fujairah and Fujairah Offshore Anchorage regardless their nature of call till further notice.
Additional information has been provided by One Maritime, including more detailed UAE port information from 5/6/2017 (click here to access a copy) and updated information on Ports in UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as of 6/6/2017 (click here to access a copy).
The General Organization of Saudi Sea Ports Authority announced this evening to all shipping agents not to receive any vessels hosting Qatari flag or owned by Qatari companies or individuals as well as to unload any goods of Qatari origin in Saudi ports.
The Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications has issued a notice advising that marine navigation from Bahrain Ports and territorial waters to State of Qatar shall be suspended from 6th June 2017. Click here to access a copy of the Notice.
The correspondent in Alexandria, Middle East Survey & Control Office, has provided the following information:
"There has been no action taken concerning the ports till this moment. However, it is expected that any vessels flying the Qatari flag will not be permitted to enter Egyptian PORTS.
There has been no indication that any vessel calling from/ to Qatar after Egypt will be problematic.
We are also advised that flights between the two countries will be temporarily suspended.
There will be difficulties for any Qatari Nationals entering Egypt - but this has yet to be made clearer.
In regards to the crossing of the Suez Canal please note that as Egypt & Qatar are not at war then all canal crossing vessels will not be affected in any way; but Qatari crew may be affected if requiring to change in Egypt while crossing the canal. Please refer to:
Members who already have existing contracts which require a call at Qatari ports should give careful consideration as to whether they will be able to fulfill the contract and/or whether they are legally obligated to proceed, if possible before loading any cargo. Further, whilst the current prohibitions are directed towards blocking Qatari flagged vessels from entering the Middle Eastern ports, there is a concern that the UAE may block foreign flagged vessels that have/will call in Qatar. Should this be implemented and/or if other states follow suit the trading pattern of the ship could be a potential problem. Hence, those considering calling at Qatari ports in the future are recommended to fully analyse the implications of calling Qatar before agreeing to do so and should be duly diligent in implementing suitable contractual provisions in charterparties and other contracts to try to either avoid such a call or deal with the consequences.