On 5 June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain (the Blockading Countries) severed diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar. Since then, a number of other countries, including the Maldives and Mauritius, have followed suit or expressed support for the measures. The shipping industry must carefully monitor this situation as it develops.
In this alert, we explain the position to date and take a look at what shipping companies trading Qatar need to be mindful of to limit and manage any potential impact on their business.
What has happened?
There is no uniform approach in the measures adopted by the Blockading Countries against Qatar, but broadly speaking the following steps have been taken:
- land, air and sea traffic have all been affected;
- both Qatari diplomats and other Qatari nationals were given a limited period within which to leave the Blockading Countries; and
- a number of Qatari nationals and companies have now been designated as terrorist organisations/individuals or supporters of such by the Blockading Countries.