Yemen Bans Entry into Its Territorial Waters

Navigation in Yemen’s territorial waters has been banned and ships are not allowed into Yemen unless inspected and approval by the Saudi-led coalition forces, BIMCO said in an update.

The ban started yesterday after the Yemen’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs delegated the coalition forces to implement it.

In a statement signed by the Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin, issued on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “Yemen has banned entry into the territorial waters and has authorized coalition countries to implement the decision, adding that the ban has been imposed on the country’s maritime zones”.

Only emergency food and medical aid vessels are allowed entry and even then only after being searched.

BIMCO advised all vessels to transit the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea outside Yemeni territorial waters (12 Nautical Miles) where possible.

As reported, the definition of “maritime zones”  has not been clearly defined and clarification should be sought from port agents and P&I if considering calling any Port in Aden.

Marine insurer Skuld informed earlier that it had received significant number of reports from agents, media as well as feedback from members, indicates that Saudi Arabian led naval forces have started to enforce a blockade on Yemeni ports.

In particular this would appear to target ports which may be under the control of the Houthi led forces fighting government forces across Yemen, Skuld said.

The intention seems to be to stop shipments that could assist the Houthi led forces in their conflict with the government forces.

Shipping lines started to divert their ships from the area last week and some, such as Hapag Lloyd, decided to stop bookings for Yemen amid intensifying safety crisis in the country caused by the ongoing conflict.

Street fighting continues in Aden city areas as Houthi troops continue shelling Aden by tanks, and the port is virtually closed, except for some oil shipments at Aden Refinery. Dry cargo shipments have been stopped because no stevedores are available due to armed clashes, GAC said in a update on Wednesday.

Evacuation of foreign nationals, including those from Russia and the US is underway.

World Maritime News Staff