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We have particularly good experience in dealing with vessels caught up in complex environments made difficult or dangerous by war, geo-political issues or simply a capricious judicial system. One such are is Yemen which has become the centre for a proxy war between the coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia and Iran. There is a humanitarian crisis and very real difficulties getting food stuff and oil into the country.

In April 2015 UN Resolution 2216 was adopted aimed at curbing Houthi activity in order promote a political solution to the war. It was aimed at preventing military equipment being imported into the country and also at making sure that no financial assistance is being given to the Houthis. That in turn led to an inspection regime led by UNVIM to be set up to clear vessels into Yemen. This is desk review of documents and clearance is given where there is no reasonable doubt that there are embargoed cargoes on board. Even when clearance has been given this has not stopped vessels being interdicted at sea at gun point and on occasion being ordered to Saudi Arabia for enhanced searches.

 

We have experience of dealing with one such incident in particular where the vessel and cargo of oil was confiscated amidst unjustified suspicion that the vessel could somehow have been involved in smuggling.

Even where cargoes are cleared for discharge, issues can arise over quantity and quality where Club security is not usually accepted. Further, the Red Sea ports are exposed to military action in and around the port often without warning meaning ships could have to leave quickly without the usual tug or shore support.

Cases that would be easy to sort in a European port become much more difficult in environment such as Yemen.