Crimean shipping in sharp decline: sanctions are effective

In year 2014 since Mar 18 (official date of Crimea annexation by Russia) until Dec 31 144 merchant vessels called Crimean ports: 59 Russian vessels – 41%; 39 Turkish vessels – 27%; 20 Greek vessels – 14%.
Year 2015, 162 vessels called Crimea in total, including: 107 Russian vessels – 66%; 30 Turkish vessels – 18.5%%; number of Greek and other countries vessels sharply declined.
Year 2016, 162 vessels called Crimea in total, including: 113 Russian vessels – 70%; 19 Turkish vessels – 12%%; the majority of vessels was Russian and Turkish owned, with Turkish vessels’ calls being on decline.
Year 2017 Jan – Apr, 112 vessels called Crimea in total, including 90 Russian vessels – 80%; 10 Turkish vessels – 9%. Number of Turkish vessels’ calls is on decline.
Owners of the vessels which call Crimean ports have to hide ownership and traces which may lead to them and identify them as sanctions violators, with a spree of possible negative consequences, from charterers’ refuse to charter vessels, recorded in Black List, to detentions, fines and even confiscations of vessels in EU and especially, Ukrainian, ports. They have to change flags and set up new offshore companies, in order to avoid possible retributions. All of it taken together, doesn’t make owners’ life easier, some vessels are already as good as lost for regional and especially, EU, shipping, they can be exploited only in Russian and Crimean waters. To compensate all extra expenses and losses, they have to substantially raise freight rates for Crimean cargoes. There’s one more woe for owners trading with Crimea – there are almost no cargoes to be transported from Crimea to Russian mainland, after annexation.



Mr. Klimenko is a Chief Editor of Ukrainian news agency and watchdog Black Sea News, monitoring situation in and around Russia-annexed Crimea, including shipping.