1008 - 11/14 - Ukrainian Ports Update - Ukraine

The following is the latest update on the situation in Ukrainian ports received from one of the Club’s correspondents in the Ukraine

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Situation at Ukrainian Ports

Despite political turmoil, which took place in Ukraine during spring-summer 2014, the situation in Ukrainian ports is stable and calm. Ukrainian ports, such as: Odessa, Ilychevsk, Yuzhny, Kherson, Dneprobugsky, Nikolayev, Berdyansk, Izmail, and Octoyabrsk are trouble-free and working in the usual manner. Ukrainian port administrations and private terminals located at the port areas have increased the security measures at the ports, therefore in order to get an access to the port terminals appropriate passes for surveyors should be arranged by means of sending a notice to the port and immigration authorities 2 days in advance. 

The situation in the East of Ukraine is more serious. The anti-terrorist operation of the Ukrainian army is still in progress but its intensity has reduced since October 2014, when active military actions have been stopped and now the situation is a “frozen conflict”. Parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are under control of the anti-government forces, resulting in disturbances.

There are no transport restrictions in Ukraine except on the territories under the control of the separatists. There is a high risk of confiscation of cars, property and cargo as well as threats to the life and health of drivers and other personnel involved. Due to these reasons forwarders refuse to arrange cargo and container deliveries in the territories under the control of armed separatists. Thus, serious problems with cargo logistics can take place in the East part of Ukraine. 

The closest port to the so-called “neutral interim zone”, which divides Ukrainian army and anti-government forces, is the port of Mariupol in the Azov Sea (Donetsk region). The Port is safe and working in its usual manner. There are no restrictions or limitations for the crew of any nationality and shore passes are issued in the normal way. However on the outskirts of the city sometimes shootings take place, mostly at night. Therefore due to potential threats of violence and attacks of un-controlled armed groups on the East of Ukraine, we recommend that crew should not leave vessels whilst berthed at Mariupol.

Situation at Crimean Ports

Since 18th March 2014 the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea is annexed to the Russian Federation under the name Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. The Annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, an integral part of the territory of Ukraine, was not acknowledged by the international community. The EU and USA have imposed a significant range of economic and political sanctions on Russian officials and legal entities. 
All Crimean marine ports, Kerch, Sevastopol, Yalta, Evpatoria, Theodosia (or Feodosia), as ports located on the temporary occupied territories, are with a disputable and unclear legal status.
Needless to say that the disputable status of the ports, entails negative consequences for all commercial activities and a significant reduction of ship calls. There is a reduction in the throughput of main cargoes handled by the Crimean ports, such as steel products, grain and mineral oil exports. About 90% of cargoes to the Crimean ports were supplied or were delivered in transit by railway from the Ukraine mainland. In 2013 the Crimean ports handled about 7.5% of all Ukrainian cargoes. As the Crimean crisis continued, the ports on Crimean peninsula lost connection with their mainland suppliers. Ukraine also closed its checkpoints in Crimean ports making it impossible to import cargoes via Crimea.


It is foreseen that Crimean ports will soon shift to handling Russian cargoes. Sevastopol port does not operate at full capacity due to lack of cargo from Ukraine. Port of Kerch is working mainly with Russian cargoes.

The situation is stable and the ports and anchorages are under Russian jurisdiction. The port of Sevastopol will become a Russian military base. Ports of Yalta and Kerch are scheduled for handling cargoes needed to maintain vital activities in Crimea.  As declared by Crimean self-proclaimed government the ports of Evpatoria and Theodosia will be closed.

After the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian export cargoes were distributed between Mariupol, Ilyichevsk, Nikolayev, Odessa, Yuzhny.

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Source of information

CIS PandI Services Ukraine

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