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Ukraine crisis updates

10 May 2022 (Update 10)

Please find attached formal notification from the government of Ukraine of the closure of the seaports of Berdiansk, Kherson, Mariupol and Skadovsk (IMO Circular 4557) and also notification from the government of Ukraine regarding allocation of funds for the purposes of compensation for possible damage caused as a result of the Russian Federations’ armed aggression against Ukraine (IMO Circular 4556)

08 April 2022 (Update 9)

Please find attached for your information and guidance the document “Interim Guidance to shipping related to the situation in Ukraine” published by the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate, a branch of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands.

This guidance provides an overview of the consequences of the situation in Ukraine for (seafarers working on) seagoing ships flying the flag of the Netherlands or foreign-flagged ships with a port in the Netherlands as the destination. It holds guidance for both the situation on board Netherlands’ flagged ships as well as the consequences of the sanctions imposed on any natural or legal person or entity as per EU Implementation Regulation 2022/427 and trade restrictions of any goods or technology as sanctioned per EU Council Regulation 2022/428. Both regulations are also attached for your information.

29 March 2022 (Update 8)

Please find attached for your information IMO Circular C4543 Communication from the Government of the Russian Federation with regards to the “establishment, as a provisional and urgent measure, of a blue safe maritime corridor to allow safe evacuation of seafarers and ships” in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Unfortunately, we are not in a position to confirm the content nor the veracity of this Circular but it is nevertheless bought to your attention for your reference and consideration in your operations in that area.

Please keep the secretariat updated on your experiences within the Black Sea and Sea of Azov so that we can, in turn, keep the members and others updated accordingly.


21 March 2022 (Update 7)

With thanks to one of our members for bringing to our attention NAVAREA III warning 0118/22 which is reproduced below.

“NAVAREA III 0118/22





You are invited to share any recent experience of navigation in this area so that we can further disseminate through industry groups


16 March 2022 (Update 6)

Please find attached for your information and guidance:

  1. Communication from IMO – Ukraine crisis – Security situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov (link to download)
  2. Communication from the Government of Ukraine dated March 6, 2022, regarding recommendations for crew leaving vessels in Ukraine ports (link to download)
  3. Communication from the Government of Ukraine dated March 14, 2022, regarding guidelines for laying up vessels in Ukraine ports (link to download)


14 March 2022 (Update 5)

As advised in Circular 0309-F-Ukraine crisis update 4, an extraordinary session of the IMO Council took place on March 10th and 11th to discuss the current crisis in Ukraine. Please find below the link to the IMO Council Decisions on “Black Sea and Sea of Azov Situation”. You may view the complete decisions of Council at the below link but please find below the two priority issues discussed by Council and their proposed actions.

Blue safe maritime corridor

The Council agreed to encourage the establishment, as a provisional and urgent measure, of a blue safe maritime corridor to allow the safe evacuation of seafarers and ships from the high-risk and affected areas in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to a safe place in order to protect the life of seafarers, ensure the mobilization and commercial navigation of vessels intending to use this corridor by avoiding military attacks and protecting and securing the maritime domain.

The Council, in this regard, taking into account the sensitivities of the matter, invited the Secretary-General to collaborate with the relevant parties and take necessary immediate actions to initiate the establishment and support the implementation of a blue safe maritime corridor in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and keep Member States informed of developments and report to the next session of the Council.

The Secretary-General has indicated his commitment to take immediate action to realize the blue safe maritime corridor with the cooperation and collaboration of the relevant parties including littoral states.

Proposal to support seafarers

The Council welcomed the proposal that a number of steps should be taken to reduce the suffering of seafarers and their families, as follows:

  1. as a priority, ships should be allowed to sail from the ports of Ukraine at the earliest opportunity without threat of attack;
  2. for those ships that cannot leave immediately, or where it would be unsafe to do so due to the presence of sea mines or other hazards, humanitarian corridors should be set up that enable the safety of seafarers by allowing them to leave the conflict zone and return home, as appropriate;
  3. any form of harassment of seafarers due to their nationality should be condemned;
  4. seafarers affected by the conflict should be allowed free access to communications with their families;
  5. States should ensure that seafarers are able to access their wages;
  6. States should acknowledge the key worker status of seafarers and allow their unrestricted movement;
  7. taking into account the key worker status of seafarers, States involved should strongly consider exempting their seafarers from mandatory military service; and
  8. where port State control officers are presented with expired documentation, a pragmatic approach to the inspection should be taken, considering the exceptional nature of the situation.


9 March 2022 (Update 4)

Further to Circular 0309-F-Ukraine crisis update 3 please find attached the feedback form (link to download) to be used when advising IMO of vessels stranded in Ukraine ports and waters. Please use this form to ensure the IMO database is kept up to date by forwarding by email to and copied to

In light of the forthcoming IMO extraordinary council meeting due to be held tomorrow and Friday (March 10th and 11th) please consider communicating with your flag state your concerns about the current situation in Ukraine with specific emphasis on stranded vessels in Ukrainian ports and waters with a request for them to pass to IMO your concerns and to request the development of safe corridors to enable vessels to leave Ukraine ports and waters. The more delegations that express this concern the more likelihood that action might be taken.

As before, please keep the secretariat appraised of your experiences while operating in these waters.


9 March 2022 (Update 3)

As part of their “In Focus” briefing papers the IMO has published the following link providing updates and information on the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Contained within the link are many different sources of information ranging from:

  • Official United Nations statements
  • Flag State information
  • Information from ships stranded in Ukraine ports and waters
  • Advice for seafarers
  • Resources
  • Media information
  • Contact methods for advising IMO of experiences


Should you have any problems accessing this IMO site please let us know and we’ll try and disseminate in a different way.

As before, please continue to share your experiences with the secretariat so that we can keep the industry task force appraised of any new information.


8 March 2022 (Update 2)

Further to Circular 0303-F-Ukraine Crisis Update 1 this Circular brings to your attention “How to cope with conflicts on board”, a paper written in both English (link to download) and Russian (link to download)and kindly shared by the German Seamans Mission which we hope you may find useful.

The task force mentioned in update 1 has now met twice and an update on this activity will follow shortly but in the meantime, please be advised of the following announcement from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO):

“The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will hold an Extraordinary Session of its Council to address the impacts on shipping and seafarers of the situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

 The Extraordinary Session (C ES 35) was convened following requests from several Council Members.

 The Session will be held on 10 and 11 March in remote session.”

The secretariat will monitor this meeting and I will update you by means of a further Circular in due course but, in the meantime please continue to share your experiences both aboard and on shore as this crisis continues.

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