The Gard P&I Club provides latest updates as follows:
- UAE port authorities have banned all ships flying Qatari flags or ships owned by Qatari companies or individuals, from their territorial waters. UAE ports, such as Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and ports operated by DP World UAE Region, have banned all ships destined for or arriving from Qatari ports, regardless of the nature of their call. In addition, DP World UAE Region extended the ban to all ships loading or discharging cargo destined for or coming from Qatar. Given that Fujairah is the main bunkering point in the region, this decision is likely to lead to increased costs and delays for ship operators.
- Bahrain and Saudi Arabian port authorities have stated that Qatari flagged/owned ships will not be allowed to enter their waters. Bahrain has in addition banned ships moving from and to Qatar from calling at its ports. See also Notice from Bahrain Port Operations and Circular from Head of Department of Saudi ports in Riyadh.
- Egypt and Suez Canal port authorities have currently not indicated that ships calling from Qatar or proceeding to Qatar will face difficulties.
The Gard Club recommends Members to check ‘liberty clauses’ in contracts of carriage, to ensure that the carrier complies with the terms of the contract of carriage when it comes to delivery of the cargo.
In addition, the London P&I Club advises operators, who already have existing contracts, which require a call at Qatari ports, to give careful consideration if will be able to fulfill the contract or whether they are legally obligated to proceed, if possible before loading any cargo.
Maersk is currently seeking for alternative routes for its shipments. A company's spokesman was quoted as saying that Maersk will notify its customers about the changes at the earliest opportunity. Maerk's containerships transship cargoes from port of Jebel Ali to Qatar, but due to the diplomatic crisis, the company cannot move the cargoes.
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.
However, those vessels flying the Qatari flag and considering transiting the Suez Canal will not be affected by restrictions because the Canal is considered as an international passage.