Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE, and the internationally recognised Yemeni government (along with the secondary government of Libya and the Maldives) have announced that they have cut their diplomatic ties to Qatar, citing Qatar’s involvement in terrorism as the cause. The aforementioned states have also suspended air, sea and land transport into Qatar.
Although UK companies are not prohibited from trading with Qatar, it will be difficult for goods to move in or out of the country due to the blockade now in place from the neighbouring countries.
Qatar’s only land border (with Saudi Arabia) is now closed and therefore goods that were transhipping are now unable to get through. Also, cargo is not being allowed to tranship on to feeder vessels going to Qatar.
There are reports that banks in the region are refusing Qatari currency (the riyal). This should not impact too heavily on importers and exporters outside the region as the US dollar is the standard currency of shipping. However, if goods invoices are in riyals rather than dollars, then this may present a problem and should be looked in to.
This is an ongoing situation and as yet there appears to be no resolution in sight. As more information on how shipping in the region is affected becomes available, we will update our website to reflect any changes.
Businesses impacted by the situation with Qatar may be able to call upon their insurance to limit their exposure and should contact their brokers.
If you have any questions on shipping in the region at this time, please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can read more about the underlying political situation in the region in this BBC article.