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Ukraine conflict

Warlike Operations Area Committee agrees protections for seafarers

28 February 2022

Following the full scale military attack on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine by Russian forces, an emergency meeting of the Warlike Operations Area Committee (WOAC) was held remotely on Thursday 25 February. The WOAC consists of the UK Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus International and the RMT union.

All members of the WOAC are deeply aware of the necessity of protecting seafarers, ships and their cargoes during this incredibly difficult time.

In a statement the WOAC said:

'Representatives met today in response to this morning's sudden and unacceptable invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces to consider the threat posed to UK seafarers, and seafarers generally of all nationalities in the region. They noted their particular concern for all seafarers wherever they are serving at sea at this deeply worrying time.

'The WOAC proposes a Warlike Operations Area be declared with immediate effect for all Ukrainian, Russian and International Waters north of 44°North in the Black Sea.'

The WOAC has also issued recommendation to operators of ships who are members of the UK Chamber of Shipping that trade to the Black Sea that a Warlike Operations Area be declared with immediate effect for all Ukrainian, Russian and International Waters north of 44°North in the Black Sea.

Members have been recommended to enable crew to disembark before approaching the area, to agree increased payment terms if operating in the designated area and to undertake to underwrite individual risk.

The parties to WOAC have agreed to review the position jointly, not later than one month from today.


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