New White House proclamation bans Russian-affiliated ships from entering US ports

Photo: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

US President Joe Biden, through a recent proclamation, has authorised the Secretary of Homeland Security to make and issue rules and regulations as the secretary may find appropriate to regulate the anchorage and movement of Russian-affiliated vessels in ports in the United States.

The proclamation comes in the wake of the Russia’s continued war against Ukraine, which Mr Biden said is “a national emergency by reason of a disturbance or threatened disturbance of international relations of the United States.”

The prohibition of the entry of Russian-affiliated vessels US ports applies except in the case of Russian-affiliated vessels used in the transport of source material, special nuclear material, and nuclear by-product material for which, and for such time as, the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce, determines that no viable source of supply is available that would not require transport by Russian-affiliated vessels.

Also exempted are Russian-affiliated vessels requesting only to enter US ports due to force majeure, solely to allow seafarers of any nationality to disembark or embark for purposes of conducting crew changes, emergency medical care, or for other humanitarian need.

The proclamation classifies Russian-affiliated vessels as the following:

  • Vessels of Russian registry (i.e., the vessel is Russian flagged)
  • Vessels that are Russian=owned (i.e., the legal title of ownership of the vessel that appears on the ship’s registration documents is the Government of the Russian Federation or a Russian company, citizen, or permanent resident)
  • Vessels that are Russian operated (i.e., a Russian company, citizen, or permanent resident is responsible for the commercial decisions concerning the employment of a ship and decides how and where that asset is employed)

The new prohibition came into effect on Thursday, April 28.

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