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Fujairah changes Qatar sanctions rules

12 Jun 2017 16:03 (+01:00 GMT)
Fujairah changes Qatar sanctions rules

London, 12 June (Argus) — The important bunkering port of Fujairah in the UAE has issued an amendment to its 5 June notice banning vessels flying flags of Qatar or vessels destined to or arriving from Qatar.

Today's notice appears to leave open the possibility of non-Qatari owned or flagged vessels bunkering at Fujairah even if they are on route to or from Qatar. The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt last week broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar.

The notice reiterates the ban on Qatari flagged or owned vessels entering the port. It also forbids the loading or unloading of any cargo from Qatar, and bans the loading of UAE origin cargoes bound for Qatar.

But this text is weaker than the 5 June notice that forbade any vessel bound to or from Qatar calling at Fujairah or entering its anchorage. This appears to leave open the possibility of non-Qatari vessels taking on bunker fuel.

This interpretation is supported by marine lawyers Ince and Co, which said today: "This should mean that vessels which have loaded in Qatar and wish to bunker in Fujairah may be able to do so as long as they are not Qatari flagged or owned."

The relaxation would bring some relief to Fujairah bunker suppliers but would not relax the ban on Rasgas and Qatargas LNG tankers, which are estimated to take 120,000-150,000 t/month of Fujairah's total monthly sales of around 1mn t.

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