On 28 February 2022, the UK Department for Transport announced that following the Russian government’s continued incursion into Ukraine, it did “not consider it appropriate for Russian vessels to continue to enter UK ports”. UK ports have therefore been asked not to provide access to any ship which they have reason to believe is:
- Owned, controlled, chartered, or operated by any person connected with Russia;
- Owned, controlled, chartered or operated by Designated Persons;
- Flying the Russian flag;
- Registered in Russia.
The announcement doesn’t provide any guidance about the phrase “any person connected with Russia”, but we anticipate that a broad interpretation will be adopted. At present, this statement is not supported by UK legislation, but Members are advised to consider whether their vessels might be caught within these provisions before attempting to call at any UK ports.