1. In view of the current geopolitical conflict and increased naval activity within the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, Palau Administration vide Ship Security Advisory Memo 151.1 requires, with immediate effect, implementing of Ship Security Level III for all Palau flagged vessels operating in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Ukraine or Russia within the Black Sea.
2. The Administration has informed that above requirement will be closely monitored by the Administration and will be subject to proper amendments according to the situation.
3. Further, the Administration has informed that:
a) As of February 22, 2022, ship movements and cargo operations are suspended at Mariupol and Berdyansk. Seafarers are also not permitted to leave their ships. Yeisk, Rostov, Taganrog, and relevant Ukrainian ports may not be accessible. As access is denied by Russian military forces, commercial vessels should not attempt to enter the Sea of Azov.
b) Company Security Officers (CSOs) and Ship Security Officers (SSOs) should obtain security level information prior to entering ports through the appropriate Port Authorities. Ships should comply with the Port Facility security level if it is higher than the security level set onboard.
4. Administration has recommended to follow the guidance as listed below:
a) For Palau flagged vessels trading in Russian or Ukrainian ports, ship masters are strongly advised to contact local agents for the latest advisories.
b) Commercial vessels are advised to avoid any transit or operation within the EEZ of Ukraine or Russia within the Black Sea. Access to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait is currently blocked by Russian forces.
c) In case a vessel is located at a Ukrainian port, plans to depart should be arranged as soon as safely possible, as all Ukrainian ports have been closed by the Ukrainian military.
d) Access to the northwest Black Sea, north of 45° 21’ is restricted by the Russian Navy.
e) Vessels must ensure the automatic identification system (AIS) is always transmitting, in accordance with provisions of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), and monitor VHF Channel 16. Exceptions are accepted only if the master believes that continuing to operate AIS might put in risk the safety or security of the ship or when a security incident is imminent).
f) In case a vessel is challenged by Russian military, it is strongly recommended to comply fully with instructions.
g) While operating in the Black Sea, armed security personnel are not to be embarked.
5. In the event of any incident or suspicious activity, Palau flagged vessels to notify the Palau Administration, the NATO Shipping Center (NSC) and activate the Ship Security Alert System.
6. Owners/ managers and masters of Palau flagged vessels are advised to take note of the above requirements and ensure compliance.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.