Russia-Ukraine war

The events in Ukraine have also shocked North Sea Port. After all, the port has long had close and good relations with Ukraine and in particular with the port of Mykolaiv. Our support and thoughts go out to the inhabitants of Ukraine and the employees of the companies and ports with which our port area cooperates. Where possible, the Port Authority supports companies and organisations in their activities to jointly cope with the terrible events in Ukraine.

North Sea Port closely follows developments in Ukraine and is in contact with the Dutch, Belgian and European governments and organisations.

If the situation changes, more information will follow on this website.

 

Sanctions package 5 and entry into force

On 8 April, the European Union announced a new ‘Sanctions Package 5’. These measures come into effect at 00:00 on Sunday 17 April. 

Access ban on Russian-flagged vessels 

This 5th sanctions package includes a ban on access by vessels registered under the Russian flag to ports on the territory of the European Union. 

Exemptions to sanctions package 5

The sanctions package includes exemption provisions for certain types of cargo. Vessels flying the Russian flag but falling under the exemption provisions may still be admitted to the port. 

The exemption provisions relate to cargo such as: 

 - oil and gas
 - refined oil products
 - some ores
 - pharmaceutical and medical products
 - agricultural and food products
 - products for civil nuclear applications
 - vessels engaged in humanitarian purposes
 - ... 

Vessels flying the Russian flag but falling under the exemption provisions may still be admitted to the port. 

The exemption provisions are listed on pages 3 and 4 of EU Regulation 2022/576 dated 8 April 2022: Publications Office (europa.eu)

Article 3, 6b, sections 5 a-e. This also refers to annexes with specific cargo numbers (CN numbers, listed in Annex XXII on page 33 and Annex XXIV on page 66). 

The master, agent, shipowner and cargo owner of a Russian vessel should ascertain whether exceptional provisions apply to the vessel, under which the vessel may be admitted.
However, the Harbourmaster remains responsible for implementing the admittance policy to the port. 

European ports ban and aid to Ukraine

The potential impact of the EU sanctions on the port is secondary to our unconditional support for the national and European sanctions measures and our support for Ukraine. We are closely monitoring the precise effect of these sanctions. Their application is being enforced in close consultation with other ports and competent authorities in the Netherlands, Belgium and the EU.

Partly at the initiative of North Sea Port, the wider European port community has advocated a common European approach and expressed solidarity with Ukraine. You can read more about this on the website of ESPO, European Sea Ports Organisation:

Sanctions package 4: list of natural persons, entities and vessels

In addition to Sanctions Package 5, in "Sanctions Package 4”, the European Union has published a list of natural persons and entities against which restrictive measures have been imposed. These include a number of vessels. Certain exemption provisions apply to these vessels. 

 

Trading with Russia and Ukraine

Russia

  • Russia was North Sea Port's most important trading partner in 2021. Russia has been one of the top trading partners for some years now.
  • In total it concerned 6.3 million tonnes of goods, of which 6.2 million tonnes were imported and 0.1 million tonnes were exported.
  • For example: coal (= 1/3), fertilisers, linseed, wood (pellets).

Ukraine

  • Ukraine was North Sea Port's 14th largest trading partner in 2021.
  • It concerned 1.5 million tonnes of goods, of which 1.4 million tonnes were imported and 0.1 million tonnes were exported.
  • For example: maize and rapeseed (together 1.1 million tons).

The impact therefore particularly concerns import from Russia and Ukraine.

Appeal by consulate of Ukraine

On 13 March, the Port Authority took note of the appeal by the Dutch Consulate of Ukraine to some shareholders of North Sea Port and to the Port Authority to close the port specifically for Russian ships.

The Port Authority is in close contact with the Dutch, Belgian and European authorities as well as with the companies in the port area that are affected by the war in Ukraine. The Port Authority also follows up on the proclamation of sanction measures in consultation with the national authorities in Belgium and the Netherlands and other seaports.

North Sea Port has sympathy for the appeal of the consulates of Ukraine to the ports to independently and unilaterally ban Russian ships. However, North Sea Port does not have its own policy regarding specific sanction measures, such as closing the port for Russian vessels. The Port Authority feels, as do the other ports in the Netherlands and Belgium, that this is reserved for the national and European authorities. It must be possible to view the sanction measures and their consequences in conjunction with each other in the light of the complexity of such measures and their consequences. The effectiveness and coherence of the European and national sanction measures and our position as a seaport of national importance are key issues for the Port Authority.