Scheepvaart Noordzeekanaal

Impact of the war in Ukraine on the Port of Amsterdam

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused worldwide horror and protest. Both countries also have trade connections and relationships with the Port of Amsterdam.

Europe’s decision to ban Russian ships and coal from Russia obviously has consequences for the Port of Amsterdam and its clients. We follow and support these sanctions.

Is the Port of Amsterdam already banning Russian ships?  

The Port of Amsterdam will be closed to Russian vessel traffic as of midnight on Sunday, 17 April. This decision was taken by the European Union on 8 April 2022. The exception to this rule is Russian ships carrying essential goods such as food, medical supplies and energy products. The port ban on ships will apply to Russian-flagged ships.

What does this banning of Russian ships amount to?  

Ships flying the Russian flag and ships affiliated with entities or persons on the European sanctions list are not offered port services such as bunkering, pilotage, berthing assistance, ship towing services, terminal loading and unloading, etc. However, should a ship flying the Russian flag or affiliated with a sanctioned person or entity wishes to enter, the port authority will inform the ship that it will not receive services and is not welcome.

What if a Russian ship is on its way to the Port of Amsterdam?

The port ban for Russian ships in the Port of Amsterdam will take effect at midnight on Sunday, 17 April. This means that a vessel falling under the criteria (Russian flag affiliated with a sanctioned person or entity) can call at the port until that time. However, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the number of visiting ships under the Russian flag has already decreased and is limited to a few.

Are there Russian ships in the harbour at the moment?

There has been one Russian ship docked in our port since November: the Grumant. This vessel is currently not seaworthy due to a technical defect and also has a financial dispute. This is therefore unrelated to the war in Ukraine. The Port of Amsterdam would rather not have a ship stay that long. In the meantime, the Port of Amsterdam, in cooperation with the Zeemanshuis, is ensuring that the conditions for those on board remain humanitarian. Food and drink are provided, as well as fuel to heat parts of the ship. The crew also receives telephone cards to maintain contact.  

What is covered by the import ban from Russia?

On 8 April, the European Union decided to sanction coal. For contracts concluded before 9 April, a transitional period of four months until 10 August 2022 applies. Coal in storage must be released into free circulation by 10 August. An import ban on wood, iron and steel was also previously announced. It will take effect on 17 June 2022.

What is included in an export ban to Russia?

For the Netherlands, an export ban to Russia has been in force for several weeks on various goods, such as dual-use goods, equipment, technology and services in the energy sector, aeronautical parts, and large companies in mechanical engineering.  

What consequences does the crisis have for companies in the Port of Amsterdam?  

Last year in Amsterdam, the import of oil products from Russia amounted to circa 3 million tonnes and 3.8 million tonnes of coal in the Port of Amsterdam. Agricultural products amounted to some 0.9 million tonnes. Last year, total transshipment amounted to over 71 million tonnes.

How many Russian ships have docked in the Port of Amsterdam during recent years?

As of 2019, there were approximately 30 annually. Before that, it was about 80 per year. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there has only been one ship.  

How many Russian ships called at Amsterdam in 2021?

There were 7,968 ship visits in the Amsterdam North Sea Canal Area in 2021, with 1.1% of these ships coming from Russia. The total number of ships visiting Amsterdam in 2021 was 4,911, with 0.6% of the ships visiting Amsterdam coming from Russia. There were no ships flying the flag of Ukraine.

Are there increased risks in the port in terms of cyber security?

Cyber-attacks have been on the increase in recent years. Therefore, vigilance is required. Terminals can join the Port of Amsterdam’s Cyber Security Programme. This programme keeps customers informed of possible attacks within the North Sea Canal Area.

What is the Port of Amsterdam doing for refugees and persons onboard ships in humanitarian terms?

Since 14 March 2022, refugees from Ukraine have been accommodated on a ship at the Javakade. This is crisis accommodation. This is a joint initiative of the City of Amsterdam, the Versluis shipping company and the port authority. The Port of Amsterdam operation distributes telephone cards to the Russian and Ukrainian crews on (non-sanctioned) vessels visiting the port that are not on the sanctions list. The Zeemanshuis (link) maintains good contact with the crew onboard and welcomes them for a chat, a drink or a game of pool. Crew members who want to and can go home are repatriated with the help of shipping agents.

For more information, please see the sources below: