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Russia-classed fleet to lose 9% of activity following EU ban

Port calls have seen a decline since the start of the conflict, but more than 1,000 journeys to the EU are still made each quarter

Ships registered to Russia’s classification society will be prohibited from entering EU ports from April next year. Arrivals have been slowing, but voyages to these ports still account for about 9% of activity

THE European Union’s ban on vessels certified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping will see the fleet lose about 9% of its activity.

The measures, due to come into effect after 8 April, 2023, were introduced as part of the European Union’s eighth swathe of sanctions.

EU ports accounted for 15% of the Russia registered fleet’s calls in 2021, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence vessel-tracking data.



The fleet’s port calls have slowed in the months following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During the July to September period a total of 1,253 calls were recorded, 38% fewer than the same period last year.

Many European businesses are pulling back from dealings with Russia to comply with sanctions regimes. Russia-flagged vessels have further been prohibited from entering EU ports since April 16.

Overall arrivals to the EU accounted for approximately 9% of the Russia-classed fleet’s activity in the third quarter of the year.

Greece is the only member of the bloc to report a substantial increase in arrivals from the Russia registered vessels. The increase is being driven by tankers and ro-ro ships.

Greek shipowners have increased exposure to Russia’s oil trade during the war. Tankers beneficially owned by Greece-based companies accounted for 50% of oil shipments from the ports of Ust-Luga, Novorossiysk and Primorsk in August.

The Russia registered fleet’s trade patterns have evolved during the war to cater to “friendly” countries. A higher volume of port calls are being made in countries like Türkiye, Kazakhstan, China and Egypt.

Smaller trading partners have also recorded upticks in arrivals, including Georgia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Angola and Brazil.

There has been no mass exodus from Russia’s Maritime Register of Shipping since the EU introduced its new measures banning the classification society outright.

As of December 31, 2021 there were 3,811 vessels, equating to about 20.7m dwt, registered to Russia’s classification society. On October 26 these figures stood at 3,733 and 20.1m dwt respectively.

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