Office: +44 203 968 0500
24/7 Emergency Response: +44 7887 710 950
Select Page

Russian blockade of Kerch Strait causing legal problems

Russian blockade of Kerch Strait causing legal problems | BDM Blog | BDM Law

We received new instructions today from a Ukrainian ship owner whose vessel is one of many blocked by Russian authorities at the Kerch Strait. The situation is fluid as there is little in the way of information from the Russian authorities. The UK Club has also released a useful update on their website and you can click here to access it. It’s too early yet to say if the Russian reaction to the recent Ukrainian declaration of martial law will amount to an attempt to permanently block Ukrainian merchant vessels from entering or leaving the Azov Sea via the Kerch Strait. There are also of course implications for foreign ships trading to ports via the Kerch Strait.

In terms of legal issues, this once again raises the thorny issue of force majeure which has been widely discussed in legal circles since the High Court’s ruling in Seadrill v Tullow [2018] EWHC 1640 (Comm) which largely followed the Court of Appeal’s decision in Intradex v Lesieur [1978] 2 Lloyd’s Reports 509. We will shortly be releasing a guide on our website outlining how contracting parties can better protect themselves from these sorts of events by having a properly worded force majeure clause in the contract. All too often we see poorly drafted force majeure clauses and there is of course no legal definition of force majeure under English law.

BDM is a specialist shipping law firm offering high quality legal advice and representation at a reasonable price. Please follow us on social media by clicking below.

Other Recent Blogs

  • Tendering NOR does wirelessinclude email | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    November 21, 2022

    Tendering NOR – does “wireless” include email?

    In a recent arbitration under the LMAA Small Claims Procedure (1) the Tribunal had to determine the validity of a Notice of Readiness (“NOR”) which had been tendered by email. The NOR is one of the most important documents for ship owners because it acts as a trigger to [...]

    Read more >
  • Delivery without original bills – an example of what can go wrong | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    November 7, 2022

    Delivery without original bills – an example of what can go wrong

    Readers of our blog may recall an article we released back in November 2020 in which we highlighted the risks that a ship owner is required to undertake when accepting a letter of indemnity (LOI) in exchange for releasing the cargo without the production of an original bill [...]

    Read more >
  • Supreme Court gives permission to appeal in The Polar | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    October 31, 2022

    Supreme Court gives permission to appeal in “The Polar”

    We previously reported on the High Court and Court of Appeal’s decisions in one of the last Somali ransom cases still in the Court system. The Court of Appeal held that a war risks provision in a charterparty did not constitute an agreement that the owners would not claim [...]

    Read more >
+44 203 968 0500
+44 7887 710 950