LP 013/2017 Yemen: Port Situation and navigation safety


Local P&I correspondents regularly provide the association with advice on the status of ports in Yemen and an updated list of all ports and their current status is provided below.


Yemen’s civil war has continued to escalate throughout 2016, carrying with it the potential to spill over into the shipping lanes of the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Following an attempted suicide attack on a Merchant ship in October, a number of Government agencies and security experts have issued additional recommendations.

 Follow Best Management Practices (BMP 4) for Protection against Somali Based Piracy.

Brief crew on the potential threats, including the weapons commonly used and damage that can be sustained.

Regularly carry out emergency drills on security situations prior to entering the High Risk Area.

Vessels should maintain the maximum safe speed and distance from the Yemeni coast.

Transit the southern Red Sea within the TSS to the west of the Hanish Islands.

Transit the area during day light hours.

Watch keepers should remain vigilant at all times and any unusual activity, hostile or potentially hostile action should be reported to coalition naval vessels using on VHF channel 16

Commercial Shipments to Hodeidah, Mokha, Saleef Port and associated oil terminals: 

UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM) is operational with immediate effect, aiming to boost  commercial imports while enforcing an arms embargo imposed through UN Security Council resolution 2216 (2015). Ship operators or vessel masters shipping commercial goods or services to Hodeidah, Mokha, Saleef Port and associated oil terminals need to apply for permits upon departure of the port of origin of their cargo. 

All other Shipments: 

All humanitarian vessels going to any Yemeni port and all commercial vessels calling Yemeni ports under the control of the Government of Yemen (Aden and Mukalla) need to continue to apply for entry permission through the Ministry of Transport through the ships agent and/or receivers, prior to the vessel’s arrival.

A copy of the Ministry of Transport form “Request for Commercial and Relief Vessels to Yemeni Ports” can be found here.  The form should be completed by the ship's master and sent directly to the Ministry of Transport at Yemen.transport@gmail.com.

In addition, vessels calling at Yemeni ports will only be allowed to enter Yemeni territorial waters following an inspection by the Saudi Arabian coalition forces.  A copy of the application can be found here.


 In order to avoid lengthy delays in port entry, Members should advise their vessels to make an application 7 to 10 days prior to the vessel arriving at the port’s anchorage.

The Saudi Arabian coalition/task forces require notice of arrival (on VHF Chanel 16) 3 nm outside Yemen’s territorial waters and the entrance to the Red Sea (Bab Al Mandab Strait) Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS).  Upon granting approval, an anchorage position will be specified by the coalition forces, (outside of Yemen’s territorial waters) until final approval for port entry is issued.

The following (notice of arrival) information is required by the coalition forces:

·         Name of vessel

·         Call sign

·         IMO number

·         Port of registry

·         Type of vessel

·         Number of crew members on board

·         Last port of call

·         Next port of call (if calling at a Yemeni port, please see the next set of questions).

·         Nationality of crew and master

·         Cargo (type and quantity)

·         Load port

·         Armed guards on board? If yes, their nationality

·         Type and number of arms and ammunition

·         Coalition forces require AIS to be kept on at all times.

Once the vessel is allowed to enter port, the Master is required to register arrival with Port Control Services (on VHF Channel 14 or 16) and await allocation of an anchorage position until berthing prospects are confirmed by the harbour master.

Members may wish to refer to our Maritime Threats and Incidents platform as the Current Maritime Incidents section for Yemen is updated regularly.

The situation is subject to change and Members should check frequently with local sources for any changes. However, power and communication outages ashore can make maintaining contact difficult.


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