Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

#LegalCorner: Qatar Crisis & Its Effect on Shipping

A Brief by Watson Farley & Williams:





Yemen: Vessels banned from entering Yemeni Ports

Members are asked to note that due to the on-going conflict in Yemen, further restrictions have been implemented and further advices and notices have been issued. Before proceeding to Yemen, or even going close to its territorial waters, an urgent risk assessment has to be undertaken.

The developments
The official government of Yemen has now set up a residence in Riyadh, in exile, and is being supported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From there it has issued a notice that seeks to ban vessels from entering its territorial waters and asked Saudi Arabia to assist in enforcing the ban. Any vessel that is carrying out essential trade, such as carrying food supplies, may enter after receiving permission from both official Yemeni government and Saudi Arabian authorities.

In the meantime, reports continue to come in that indicate vessels seeking to take any type of cargo to Yemen are being subjected to inspection by Saudi Arabian led forces. While some food cargoes are still being sent in to Yemen (which depends on food imports to a very significant degree), these vessels are experiencing significant delays while checks and searches are being undertaken. Other vessels found it not possible to successfully reach Yemeni ports given the blockade and inspections being carried out.

Oil company Total has shut down the Balhaf LNG Terminal and declared force majeure, as the security situation in the area has become difficult. It has been reported that Houthi led forces have approached some major places in Shabwah province, leading to air strikes from the Saudi led coalition. There is also reporting of Al Qaeda led forces coming closer to the area concerned.

The Singapore Maritime & Port Authority has issued an advisory to flagged vessels which calls for safety to be prioritised for crew and ships, along with a recommendation to avoid calling at Yemeni ports. It further directs owners and operators to consult with insurers, such as hull, war as well as P&I before proceeding to Yemen.

The UN Security Council has also passed an arms embargo against the Houthi led forces, as well as their allies supporting the former President Saleh.

Security advice
The Association has repeatedly cautioned members about the deteriorating situation in Yemen, and would again repeat that members with vessels at Yemen or proceeding to Yemen need to urgently undertake a review of the security situation with a view to prioritising the safety of the crew and the vessel. Consultation should be had with local sources, security experts, hull, war and P&I underwriters on an urgent basis.

If members decide to leave Yemen or not call at Yemen (despite the voyage being based on such a call), then this needs to be again considered after a careful factual and legal review. That said, masters of vessels should be supported in making such decisions as they consider necessary to ensure the immediate safety of the crew and vessel at all times.

Going forward it is likely that Yemen will now experience a significant period of conflict, and as such members should very careful consider the matter before agreeing to any charter with an intended Yemeni call or with a liberty to call at any Yemeni port. (Skuld PandI)

Saudi Arabia’s new Mega port in the new desert Megacity

JEDDAH — A new mega port at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) aims to take business away from Dubai’s Jebel Ali by offering a quicker and cheaper service.

Officials behind the KAEC, one of four new cities approved by the late King Abdullah said freight destined for Riyadh will be shipped directly to the new King Abdullah Port in KAEC instead of Dubai where it currently goes.

“At the moment lots of products destined for Riyadh are shipped to Dubai, but that will change. They’ll be shipped here as it is cheaper – and can be delivered more quickly within the Kingdom,” said Rayan Bukhari, a manager at the King Abdullah port in comments published by the BBC.

At 70 square miles KAEC will eventually be a metropolis slightly larger than Washington DC.

“We aim to create one of the world’s largest ports,” he told the BBC, adding: “We’re not competing with Jeddah’s Islamic port – but we are going to take business away from Jebel Ali in Dubai. That’s because of our quicker, more automated offloading and customs procedure.”

King Abdullah Port is a full-service commercial port with a highly strategic location. The port will deliver world-class service by means of state-of-the-art computer systems and a highly experienced staff.

The first privately owned and funded port in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the port is overseen by a single regulator – this is the foundation for a streamlined experience.

The emergence of China and India as major world economies has contributed to the Gulf region as an increasingly attractive hub. In fact, a recent report by global analyst EC Harris ranked the Mideast as most attractive in the world for port investment.

King Abdullah Port lies directly on the main Asia Europe trunk line. In fact, it can reduce East-West transhipment times by 5 to 7 days.

In addition to being on this major global trade route, King Abdullah Port is situated near the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s industrial and population centers. With this ideal location, it is being developed to increase the speed and efficiency of shipping.

Both the local regulators and the master developer of the port are working together to ensure that the port’s modern infrastructure, constant focus on innovation, commitment to customer service, and competitive regulations will encourage shipping lines to avoid major diversions and to rely on King Abdullah Port instead.

The King Abdullah Port is just part of the KAEC story. Encircling the port is the city’s Industrial Valley, while further afield are areas set aside for residential communities, tech clusters, universities and hospitals.

On the eastern side of the city will be its second major link to the outside world, the Haramain Station. When that is opened, the city will become one of four stops on Saudi Arabia’s latest high-speed rail network, linking the megaproject with Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.

The government has set up an Economic Cities Authority overseeing all four megacities and dealing with every license, construction permit and approval needed from different ministries.

So far only 15 percent of the city has been developed – industrial estates, residential districts and public facilities are currently under construction.

SG 23.3.2015