Ukraine officially closes four seaports

2022/05/02 at 2:19 PM

Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure has officially declared four seaports non-functioning due to the hostilities of the Russian Armed Forces. The ports of Berdiansk, Mariupol, Skadovsk and Kherson were occupied by Russia in the first weeks of the war. As a result, the governmental body decided to formally close the mentioned harbours until their deliberation from the Russian troops.

On Thursday, 28 April 2022, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine issued an order ‘On the closure of seaports’. According to the document, the seaports of Berdiansk, Mariupol, Skadovsk, Kherson are officially declared non-functioning from the date of its official publication until the resumption of control over these seaports.

Port of Mariupol before the Russian occupation, source: the Mariupol Sea Commercial Port

“Implementation of this measure is caused by the inability to serve ships and passengers, provide the freight, transport and other related economic activities, ensuring an adequate level of shipping safety, compliance with international treaties of Ukraine, the binding nature of which was approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and also ensuring the protection of the environment at a time when Russia continues to wage hostilities in these regions, which threatens human life and health. We will definitely resume the work of these seaports after Ukraine’s victory over the Russian occupier,” the governmental body noted.

It is worth specifying that only three seaports in Ukraine (Izmail, Reni, Ust-Dunaisk) can handle goods as usual but they have a lack of capacity to process more freight volumes. All of them are located on the Danube River. Six other harbours (Pivdennyi, Odesa, Chornomorsk, Mykolaiv, Olvia, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi) are still partially working but they cannot handle goods or accept new vessels due to the blockade, which was organised by the Russian Navy with the application of underwater mines that were installed in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Therefore, the Ukrainian shippers are forced to look for new gateways to export their products.

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