Monday, 20 October 2014

The Risks of Trading in the Ukraine

Many shipowners are asking at present - what are the risks of trading in the Ukraine in the current circumstances?

Well apart from the dangerous security situation in the eastern and southern provinces, the principal risk is that of breaching the US and western sanctions. The full sanctions of the US are available here but in short, in response to events in the region in 2014 there were three rounds of international sanctions, both from the US and the EU and other western nations (Australia, Switzerland, Japan etc.). Most of these actions were restrictions on Russian individuals, companies and banks from trading, travelling etc. but some of the sanctions are so far reaching that, in order to ensure no breaches occur, a party trading with or in Ukraine must essentially choose to either trade with Crimea (now under Russian control) or with the remainder of Ukraine (Odessa or Kiev for instance).

If you move between a contested region and government controlled Ukraine, especially if you transport cargo between the two, you will be at risk of sanctions related penalties, vessel seizures and potentially confiscations. The risk is especially strong trading from Crimea to Odessa and there are reports of an increase in vessel arrests in the region generally. Shipowners beware.


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