Yemen- Port Update 18/09/15

Latest update on all Yemen Ports:


Hodeidah port still operating normally & safety since it was reopened on 27th August 2015.

Saleef port:

Saleef port as above since the 22nd August 2015.

Mokha port:

Mokha port as above since the 11th September 2015.

Ras Isa port:

Ras Isa port FSO Safer Marine Terminal is closed and has not been operational since 21st June 2015.

Safer Company (SEPOC) will not allow any vessel to berth at safer marine terminal according to the protocol between the buyer & the Yemen Government.

According to Aden port officials, ships need to be cleared by coalition before entering.

Update- 14/09/15

We have been informed by our correspondent that Mokha port has now been reopened and is operational and safe.

Update- 27/08/2015 Hodeidah Port reopened

Hodeidah port has reopened and is receiving ships from today (27/08/2015.) As of 11:30 am all operations are working normally.

Update 27/08/15

The Ports of Aden and Saleef are now open to commercial vessel and operational. However, Hodeidah Port and Ras Isa Port remain closed.

Update 21/08/15

GAC has advised the Club that the naval forces of the Saudi Arabian Coalition have restricted access to Saleef port and it is reported that all ships were ordered out of Saleef port at 02:35 am 21/08/2015.

It is also reported that naval forces have arrested ships at Bab Al Mandab and are preventing vessels from entering Yemeni ports.

The situation in Yemen remains unstable and  Members should exercise caution when calling at ports in the region. The Club will continue to monitor events, for more information Members should get in touch with their usual Club contact.

Yemen update- 20/08/15

Update from our correspondent in Yemen - The port of Aden is now reopen for commercial shipping.

Update on Yemen Ports- 18/08/15

The Club’s correspondent reported that airstrikes were carried out on Hodeidah Port during the evening of 17/8/15. The airstrikes have affected the following:

  • Berth no. 8.
  • Janty cranes.
  • WFP warehouse
  • Port control.
  • Port authority warehouses.
  • Customs Building.

Hodeidah Port is no longer operating and is currently under blockade by Naval forces and the Air force. No ships are allowed to enter the Port at this time.

Update on Yemeni Ports: 4/06/15

The situation in Yemen remains largely unchanged with the Port of Aden remaining closed. The following ports are still operating, although high security is in operation and all vessels need to be cleared by the Saudi coalition prior to entering any of the Yemeni ports:

  • Saleef port
  • Mokha port
  • Ras Isa port (loading port for crude oil)

The Club's correspondent has advised Members entering Yemeni waters:

  • It is still a war zone, extreme caution is advised whilst going to any port in Yemen.
  • Any vessel calling Yemeni ports should get (on entry) permission from the Ministry of Transport by the ships agent or receivers, before the vessel’s arrival to Bab Al-Mandab.
  • Official authorisation must be gained from the Yemeni Government to the naval forces of the Saudi Arabian coalition to stop all ships calling at the Yemeni ports for the compulsory inspection before entry.
  • Any vessel coming to the Yemeni ports should be calling to the naval forces of the Saudi Arabian coalition by VHF on channel 16 for the arrival registration before 3 miles of arrival to the Bab Al Mandab.
  • All contact will be with the ship's master or Chief Officer about the cargo and documents and The Master should advise that he is awaiting a permission number and further instructions.
  • Once the vessel is allowed to enter Yemeni ports, she will be required to call once again to the port control by VHF on channel 14 or 16 for the arrival registration and thereafter he will be advised the anchor position until berthing prospects confirmed by the Harbor master.

Latest update regarding ports in Yemen: As of 2nd May 2015

Port closures

The port of Aden remain closed, but other Yemeni ports are now operational.

However, commercial ships must be cleared by coalition navy before they are allowed to proceed to berth.

IMEC Circular-Designation of Yemeni Ports as areas of Warlike Operations

Designation of Yemeni Ports as areas of Warlike Operations- 24th April 2015 update.

Following the continued conflict in Yemen, it has been agreed that all ports within the country be declared areas of warlike operations.

You can access the press release issued after a consultation between the ITF and the JNG here:

Furthermore, below is the IBF Framework agreement for Warlike Operations which may be of interest to our members:

Article 17: Warlike Operations / High Risk Area

17.1 A Warlike Operations area shall be determined by the IBF.

The Company shall regularly receive from the respective IBF constituent information on Warlike Operations areas. An updated list of IBF Warlike Operations areas shall be kept on board the vessel and shall be accessible to the crew.

17.2 At the time of the assignment the Company shall inform the Seafarers if the vessel is bound to or may enter any Warlike Operations area. If this information becomes known during the period of the Seafarers’ employment on the vessel the Company shall advise the Seafarers immediately.

17.3 If the vessel enters a Warlike Operations area:

  • The Seafarer shall have the right not to proceed to such area. In this event the Seafarer shall be repatriated at Company’s cost with benefits accrued until the date of return to his/her home or the port of engagement.
  • The Seafarer shall be entitled to a double compensation for disability and death.
  •  The Seafarer shall also be paid a bonus equal to 100% of the basic wage for the durations of the ship’s stay in a Warlike Operations area – subject to a minimum of 5 days pay.
  • The Seafarer shall have the right to accept or decline an assignment in a Warlike Operations area without risking loosing his/her employment or suffering any other detrimental effects.

17.4 In addition to areas of warlike operations, the IBF may determine High Risk Areas and define, on a case-by-case basis, the applicable seafarers’ benefits and entitlements, as well as employers’ and seafarers’ obligations.In the event of any such designations the provisions of Articles 17.1 and 17.2 shall apply. The full details of any Areas so designated shall be attached to the CBA and made available on board the vessel.

17.5 In case a Seafarer may become captive or otherwise prevented from sailing as a result of an act of piracy or hijacking, irrespective whether such act takes place within or outside IBF designated areas referred to in this Article, the Seafarer’s employment status and entitlements under this 10 Agreement shall continue until the Seafarer’s release and thereafter until the Seafarer is safely repatriated to his/her home or place of engagement or until all Company’s contractual liabilities end. These continued entitlements shall, in particular, include the payment of full wages and other contractual benefits. The Company shall also make every effort to provide captured Seafarers, with extra protection, food, welfare, medical and other assistance as necessary.



Update -14th April 2015

The UK Club is continuing to monitor the situation in Yemen. The Club’s correspondent, GAC, reports their office in Aden has been taken over by Houthi rebels and is no longer operational.

It is further reported that all ports are now closed and Saudi led coalition forces have received authority from the Yemeni Government to stop and inspect all ships prior to calling at Yemen. The Club is aware that a number of ships have been detained while waiting for permission from coalition forces to continue. The situation remains unstable and it is unclear whether the coalition forces will allow ships to proceed to port even after the inspection is completed. Members are advised to contact the Club with any questions about their contractual responsibilities.


The Club’s correspondents are continuing to keep the Club advised of developments in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.  Recent reports confirm the situation remains fluid.  The port of Aden is reported to be closed, although the oil refinery is said to be operating.  In response to the escalated fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels, both Egypt and Saudi Arabia are organising navy ships to patrol the port.  At present, both Hodeidah and Saleef are operational however we recommend Members contact their flag state and notify their war risks insurers before proceeding to Yemen.  Members should also be aware that in view of the instability, the ability of the Club’s correspondents to assist with issues arising in Yemeni ports may be severely hampered.

The following is intended to provide guidance in relation to some of the contractual issues that may be anticipated from the current situation in a P&I context.  However the situation is developing rapidly so advice may change over time. Each case will depend upon its specific facts and the nature of any applicable contract of carriage.  Members are advised to contact the Club at the earliest opportunity if they anticipate issues arising from contractual obligations to proceed to Yemen.

Frequently asked questions on Yemen:

I have a ship in Yemen. Is my cover affected?

P&I cover is unaffected by the presence of a ship in a war risks zone.  However Members should be aware of Rule 5E of the Club’s rules, which excludes liabilities for losses caused by war risks.

Can an owner refuse a charterer’s order to go to a port in Yemen?

This will depend on the terms of the relevant charterparty and in particular the terms of any war risks clause  Each case will require detailed, contract-specific consideration  - for more details contact your usual UK Defence Club contact.

Can a ship discharge cargo at a port other than a named Yemeni port in the bill of lading?

This will depend on the status of the port.

If a named discharge port is closed, then the terms of the governing bill of lading and any charter party should be closely examined. Many liner bills of lading will include wide liberty provisions whereby cargo can be delivered at an alternative port. Similarly, in the bulk and/or tanker trade, there will often be provisions enabling a ship to deliver cargo "so near as she may safely get" to the discharge port.

If the named discharge port is open, an owner may have contractual obligations to a third party receiver to deliver a cargo there and failure to do so may leave the owner liable for a potential deviation claim or a claim for transhipment expenses under any bill of lading relating to the voyage.

What if the port is open, but there is fighting nearby?

This will depend on the level of danger posed to the ship, and the terms of any Bill of lading. If the bill contains a liberty clause or incorporates a war risks clause that allows Members to refuse to discharge cargo at a port where the ship may be exposed to a war risk, the owner may have the option to discharge cargo at an alternative port.  Where a war risk clause or a liberty clause is not incorporated into the bill of lading or if the clauses are limited, refusal to discharge at a named port could lead claims for misdelivery, and there may be implications to a member’s P&I cover if an owner’s decision to discharge at an alternative port is deemed to be unreasonable. 

Again, each case will individual require consideration, and we encourage Members to contact the Club for assistance if orders to discharge at a port in Yemen are received.

If the ship proceeds to another port is this considered deviation and is SOL cover required?

As noted above, Members should consider the liberty clause and/or war risks clause to determine if proceeding to another port is allowed. If the bill of lading terms incorporate a broad liberty clause or un-amended war risk clause, the act of going to a different port may not be considered a deviation where proceeding to the discharge port may expose the owner to war risks, and additional cover may not be necessary. However the position will very much depend on the situation in the port in question.

What if the master is instructed to avoid a port in Yemen?

Depending on the terms of the relevant charterparty, a charterer may be able to order the ship to an alternative discharge port, to avoid potential liabilities for which the charterer may be required to indemnify the owner. If the charterer is not the bill of lading holder, this may pose problems for the owner who will have an obligation to deliver the cargo to the destination named in the bill of lading, as discussed above. In such circumstances, the owner would be advised to require an indemnity from the charterer in respect of the consequences of such a deviation in compliance with the charterer’s orders. We recommend that in such a case Members discuss the position with the Club.

What if a crew member becomes ill or needs medical attention while at anchorage or at a port in Yemen?

Members should immediately notify the correspondent and the People Claims Syndicate (LS3) should any crewmember become injured or ill.  If the ship is at berth, Members should ensure basic precautions are taken such as ensuring all crewmembers remain on board the ship at all times.  We would again emphasise that the usual levels of assistance from the club’s correspondents may not be available.

How does the USCG Port Security Advisory (1-15) affect me?

Members should be aware of the USCG published Port Security Advisory 1-15 on 25 March 2015, which addresses how the USCG will supervise ships arriving in the U.S. on or after 8 April 2015 from non-excepted ports in Yemen.

Both Ash Shihr Terminal and the Port of Hodeidah are considered to no longer be maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures. Any ship which has entered these ports within the last five ports of call will have to comply with the actions set out under section C. These include a requirement to: 

  • Implement security measures equivalent to Security Level 2 under the ISPS Code
  • Ensure each access point is guarded
  • Attempt to execute a Declaration of Security
  • Log all action in security records
  • Report action taken to the USCG Captain of the Port prior to arriving in the US. 

Failure to implement any of these measures or comply with Captain of the Port orders could result in delay or denial of entry into the U.S and possibly expose Members to a civil penalty. 

Source: Senior Claims Director, Amy Lovseth

Related Articles

Date: 27/03/2015
Following the escalating conflict, Members are advised to urgently review any on-going or scheduled port calls in Yemen, and to consult reliable local sources and/or maritime risk experts for the most up-to-date information.
Date: 17/02/2015
Due to the escalating instability in Yemen and increasing unrest in the region, many countries have begun to withdraw diplomats and personnel from the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa. 

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