Nobody has escaped from the horrifying news of the attack by Russia and Belorussia on the independent, democratic nation of the Ukraine. Perhaps for only the aggressors but the whole world is watching, few are acting. It’s frightening to see such a full scale war machine rolling in and creating such havoc in the world. Not that the suffering is different than Iraq, Syria and name all other places but that a large military and nuclear power simply decides and marches over the border into another country! It caused chaos with supplies, energy, raw materials and of course, logistics. Logistics the subject; most of the world has protested and a wide variety in sanctions has been imposed on Russia, Belorussia and a number of companies and persons. Have you considered your position and especially contractually and legally? Can you still rely on your contract when somewhere, ultimately, a Russian company or person is involved? What about war risk clauses in your contracts. Do you know your rights and obligations in case your cargo, bound for Russia or Ukraine, is discharged in a port which the carrier has chosen? War risk is covered through your insurance who in turn rely on the Joint War Committee. For instance the waters in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are now considered high risk areas. Sanctions though can cause much more problems since one may consider doing business, purchasing raw material, selling goods or contracting shipping services in good faith.


However, if there is, in this chain, a company or person who is mentioned in the sanctions imposed, one may find out that the fines under those sanctions can be the end of business, literally. Therefore it is very important that you check you contracts, with whom are you dealing, directly but also indirectly and draft your contracts in such way that you are free of doubts. For war risk one can build in the terms of the insurance back to back into contracts. Sanctions though you have to think of and obtain good advice to phrase that into your contracts. Or perhaps you have to investigate who is who in the chain of business. The socalled UBO demands, as practiced by banks, basically can be applied. Many parties will not be ready to cooperate due whatever reason but you, as carrier, forwarder, etc have to be aware and cover your liabilities and risks. A solution can be to phrase it into a clause for contracts. If the wording is not accepted nor that your contract partner gives you the assurances and background information, it may be that you have to reconsider your position since a quick gain can be a big loss with sanctions imposed. At SeaWorks we can assist you to come to a well considered decision. Do not hesitate to contact us.