Istanbul vessel inspections suspended for second day in a row

18 Apr 2023 | Masha Belikova

Inspections of vessels waiting to exit or enter the Ukrainian Black Sea were suspended for a second day in a row, while no further information was available for April 19, trade sources told Agricensus on Tuesday.

On April 17, the Ukrainian port administration confirmed that Russia had once again blocked inspections.

While some trade sources said that the delay could have been classified as a day off following the Orthodox Easter celebration, inspections did not resume the day after.

"They are playing around at corridor inspections and delaying on purpose again," a trader said. 

The UN was unable to comment on the situation before publication.

The delays followed another stoppage on April 11, which the UN said had occurred to give all parties time to reach an agreement on operational priorities.

Since April 10, the Russian side of the Joint Coordination Center (SCC) in Istanbul has unilaterally stopped registering vessels that Ukrainian ports submit to form an inspection plan.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to form its own inspection plan by choosing vessels from the queue at their discretion, Agricensus understands.

This, according to the Ukrainian port administration, "completely contradicts" the terms of the initiative and is unacceptable for Ukraine.

Russia last week made a statement blaming the Ukrainian side of the Black Sea for the delays in inspections, stating that: “Ukrainian trades for selfish purposes, drove ships into Turkish waters, regardless of either the order of their inclusion in the initiative prescribed in the rules of procedure or the requirements for screening.”

Currently, around 50 vessels are waiting for inspection, including 45 inbound vessels.