Since the beginning of the large-scale Russian aggression, our Association, as well as the authorized authorities of Ukraine, have periodically informed international institutions about the gross violation by the aggressor state of the norms of international maritime and humanitarian law, about Russia’s encroachments on merchant shipping both during the conduct of hostilities and in the occupied territories, in ports of occupied Crimea, and in Russia-invaded Berdyansk, Mariupol, Kherson.

In particular, the ARC periodically reported on the negative developments in the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, presented by the European Regional Port State Control Authority.

On May 16-20, the annual session of the European Regional Body (Paris MoU Committee) was held in Constanta, Romania, at which the decision was approved to immediately suspend Russia’s participation in the Paris Memorandum. This decision was approved by the Paris MoU Committee, as its communiqué of 30 May stated, “in view of the international situation” and “until further notice”.

At the same time, the authoritative maritime media “TradeWinds” bluntly states that this move is “part of the coordinated international action against Russian state-backed bodies in response to the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

Now, with the release of the communiqué, Russian propaganda has claimed that stopping membership would only “affect reporting” allegedly and lead to “gaps in port control statistics”.

In fact, this is not at all the case, since the suspension of Russia’s membership in the Paris Memorandum will gradually lead to increased control in third countries over the observance of international requirements by Russian vessels, thast are often off such compliance

Of course, for most European ports, where European Union sanctions against Russian shipping are already in force, this will not be a fundamental change, but in the future we should expect a similar approach to Russia in other regional maritime organizations.

Also, the move of the Paris MoU Committee is of great political importance for countering Russian manipulations to blockade the ports of Ukraine by the aggressor.

ARC’s submissions to the Paris Memorandum’s bodies are posted on the website of this international organization at the following links:

On May 26, 2022 https://www.parismou.org/system/files/249%20-%20ARC_Submission_IMO_ILO_2022.pdf

On April 15, 2022 https://www.parismou.org/system/files/185%20-%20ARC_Submission_IMO_2022_Moskva.pdf

On March 11, 2022 https://www.parismou.org/system/files/135%20-%20On%20Maritime%20Safety%20and%20Russian%20Agression%20against%20Ukraine.pdf