Ukraine and Russia agree details on grain ship protection in Black Sea

Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN on Monday August 8th agreed that ships exporting Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea to Turkey and beyond would be protected by a 10-nautical-mile buffer zone.

Since the four-way agreement was brokered in July a number of grain shipments – mainly on vessels that had been stuck in Ukraine since the February invasion, have left three Black Sea ports. But the main business will involve ships getting in and out.

Insurers and shipping companies had been seeking details on how the corridor would work for the ships in ballast sailing along the corridor into the three Ukrainian ports involved in the agreement – Odesa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhne.

Insurers have sought guarantees that journeys will be secure, with no threat of mines or attacks to both the ships and their crews.

The JCC has now published detailed procedures for all merchant ships planning to export foodstuffs and fertilizers including ammonia from these ports. The procedures are mandatory requirements. pursuant to the SOLAS Regulation Xl-2/11 and the ISPC Code, Part A, section 4.2 and Part B, section 4.26 as a condition of port entry or departure to or from the Ukrainian ports.

The parties will not undertake any attacks against merchant vessels or other civilian vessels and port facilities engaged in this initiative,” the ‘procedures for merchant vessels’ document said.

According to the procedures agreed, the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul will provide information on the planned movement of ships through the maritime humanitarian corridor, which will be shared with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey’s military. Then as the vessel moves through the corridor it will be protected by a 10-nautical-mile circle buffer zone around it.

“No military vessel, aircraft or UAVs (drones) will close to within 10 nautical miles of a merchant vessel transiting the Maritime Humanitarian Corridor, excluding territorial seas of Ukraine,” according to the document.

All vessels shall transmit on Automatic Information System (AIS) at all times whilst participating in the Initiative.

https://www.gard.no/Content/34005122/cache=20220908131351/JCC%20Procedures.pdf