Russia’s ban on imports of food products from producers in the European Union, Norway, the USA, Canada, Australia and other countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow in connection with its annexation of Crimea and support of rebels fighting the Ukrainian government, is wreaking havoc on ocean freight shipments bound for Russian ports.
Copenhagen, Denmark-headquartered Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean transporter of refrigerated containers, has advised clients that large volumes of meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy products currently in transit to Russia will have to be returned to shippers.
“Maersk Line customers were completely unprepared for these sanctions, and since they had effect immediately, a significant amount of cargo at sea needs to be returned,” the company has advised customers. “[We are] working with the origin offices to find the best and most cost efficient way to send back the goods.”
Going forward, all bookings containing the specific agricultural products implicated by sanctions with destination to Russia are being rejected until further notice. In order to comply with measures, the following procedures have been put in place:
- In case of cargo rejection by consignee, product is re-exported back to origin. All charges are on the shipper’s account.
- Rejection is accepted on letterhead with stamp and signature of an authorized person.
- In case cargo is rejected by authorities, it will re-exported back to the point of origin. Again, all charges are on the shipper’s account.
- Detention in transit is subject to the carrier’s approval.