Abstract. After the Annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure issued a Directive entitled “On Closure of Sea Ports”, which will be the epicentre of the analysis at hand. This legal act has liquidated the administration of five ports located within the territory of the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea”, aiming at cutting off these ports from international shipping. More specifically, this act is putting forward the notion that calls to those “closed ports” can make owners and crews subject to legal proceedings and put vessels at risk of arrest. However, Ukraine clearly does not exercise effective political control over those Crimean ports and therefore it can only enforce this Directive (e.g. via detention of port State authorities) if a vessel calls at a “closed” port first and then visits a Ukrainian port afterwards. The result of the specific Ukrainian Directive can be considered as inconclusive. It is unclear whether this closure has enough potential to generate any further legal effects as any legal enforcement would also depend on a national Court’s view on who is acting as the legitimate authority in Crimea.
Associate Professor, PhD (Dr. Iur.), Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Associate Professor, PhD (Safety and Security) – MESA Specialisation at World Maritime University (WMU), Malmö, Sweden