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Sector Insights

Qatar Diplomatic Crisis

04.06.2018 Sanctions, Commodities & trade, Maritime, Insurance, Energy & infrastructure, Commercial Disputes, Corporate, Aviation & travel, Banking & finance, Sanctions

Rania Tadros

Rania Tadros Managing Partner

Qatar Sanctions: the Anniversary

5 June 2018 marks the one year anniversary of “sanctions” against Qatar introduced by UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Egypt and a number of other nations.

On the UAE side, the restrictions on shipping and trade have remained the same since June 2017, following the issue of Circular by the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) on 11 June 2017. The FTA Circular states that all UAE ports must not:

>  Receive any Qatari flagged vessels or Qatari owned vessels;

>  Load or Discharge any cargo of Qatari origin;

>  Load UAE cargo to Qatar.

Most of the queries that we receive relating to Qatar shipping sanctions relate to the calls by the vessels to Fujairah port for fuel, supplies and crew changes. As things currently stand, Fujairah port is following the FTA guidance and accordingly, a vessel whose last/next call is Qatar is permitted to enter and leave Fujairah as long as she is not Qatari flagged or owned and does not discharge or load any Qatari cargo. 

The financial restrictions introduced by UAE, KSA and Egypt blacklist 79 individuals and 23 entities (the original list issued in June 2017 was subsequently expanded in July and November 2017) that are reportedly linked to terrorism. In addition, six Qatari banks are subjected to increased scrutiny and due diligence requirements – QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, Barwa Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank.

General trading, unless expressly prohibited under specific sanctions, remains possible. Companies trading with Qatar should be prepared to encounter delays in payments if the listed banks are used, but there is currently no general prohibition on trade with Qatar or payments to or from Qatar. 

In May 2018, it was announced that Qatar is banning all consumer goods originating from UAE, KSA, Bahrain and Egypt. Reportedly, these goods continued to be imported to Qatar via third countries despite the ban introduced by their countries of origin. The full details of this “ban” are yet to emerge.

It is taking more time to resolve the Qatari crisis than many have predicted at this time last year and any predictions as to how long this rift will continue for remain difficult to make.

If you would like further information on the unfolding crisis and how this may affect your operations in the region please contact Rania Tadros, Managing Partner in Dubai. 

Article authors:

Rania Tadros