NSA advises members to avoid sailing through the Red Sea

-The situation for civilian shipping entering and exiting through the Bab el Mandeb and in the southern Red Sea is serious and unacceptable. The security situation is changing rapidly, and the attacks over the weekend and in recent days have contributed to a worsening of the situation. Given the threat landscape in the region and out of concern for seafarers, the Norwegian Shipowners' Association is advising all members who can avoid sailing through the region to do so, says Harald Solberg, CEO at the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association. 

illustration photo: a dark blue ocean and a clear blue sky

The advice applies until an international presence of security resources capable of enforcing the right to safe passage for civilian ships is established in the area, or the security situation changes as a result of a ceasefire or other clarifications.

The Norwegian Shipowners' Association maintains an open and good dialogue with the authorities and the Norwegian Maritime Unions (NMU) to ensure the best possible handling of the situation.

Following attacks on civilian ships (including Norwegian and Norwegian controlled ships), the Norwegian Shipowners' Association has requested assistance from authorities in Norway and internationally by all necessary means to ensure that civilian shipping can navigate safely through the region.

-We acknowledge that Norway supports the international coalition, which is now being established to strengthen maritime security. This initially includes up to 10 staff officers for a joint coordination element under CMF Task Force 153. We expect the authorities to monitor developments closely and, in cooperation with coalition partners, to consider how Norway can contribute in a meaningful way going forwards. Norway must contribute to long-term solutions to secure the maritime trade in the region, Solberg says.

Norwegian authorities, through the Norwegian Maritime Authority, have raised the ISPS level for the southern part of the Red Sea to level 3, which is the highest level. This entails strict operational restrictions, and passage is advised against.

-For members who are contractually obligated, or for other reasons cannot sail outside the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, we assume that all relevant risk-reducing measures are implemented, in close consultation with the cargo owners, insurers, the crew onboard, relevant advisors, and security resources in the area, Solberg says.

-For seafarers on board ships planning to sail through the southern Red Sea, an agreement has been established between the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and the Norwegian Maritime Unions (NMU) to cooperate in informing about the security situation, and to find manageable solutions that ensure the right to refrain from sailing through if necessary, he says.