Fines for vessels staying at certain Gulf of Finland anchorage facilities

From July 22nd Border Control Agency of Russian Federal Security Service began fining masters and ship owners for violation of Russian law “On the State Border of the Russian Federation”, IAA PortNews reported, citing four representatives of different shipping companies.

The legislation compliance problems have involved vessels bound for the ports of the Gulf of Finland, Ust-Luga and Primorsk. The anchorage facilities of those ports – near the islands of Gogland and Seskar – shown on all navigational charts, covered by the mentioned seaports’ by-laws and recommended to vessels for waiting until the berths of Ust-Luga and Primorsk are available, turn out to be not included into the limits of RF border checkpoints.

The Law on RF State Border requires that vessels crossing the border of the Russian Federation should immediately proceed to the border checkpoint and it is prohibited to stop on the way. As a result, vessels staying at the anchorage located beyond the limits of the border checkpoint violate state border law, an offence punishable by a fine to be imposed on the master, or, in the case of repeated violations, on the ship owner.

Vessels bound for the ports of Ust-Luga and Primorsk are currently recommended by agents and ship owners to wait for the ports’ berths to become available beyond the border of the Russian Federation. However, there are no anchorage facilities beyond the RF border which can adversely affect the safety of shipping in the Gulf of Finland.