2022-002-Black Sea and Sea of Azov-Risks Due to Regional Tensions
1. References: U.S. Maritime Advisory 2021-010
2. Issue: Regional tensions and increased naval activity in the above listed geographic areas could pose a risk to U.S. flagged commercial vessels.
3. Guidance: U.S. flagged commercial vessels operating in the subject geographic areas are advised to exercise caution, conduct a risk assessment, review security measures, and incorporate appropriate protective measures into their vessel security plans. Vessels should ensure AIS is transmitting at all times (except when the master believes that continuing to operate AIS might compromise the safety or security of the ship or when a security incident is imminent), consistent with provisions of the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), and monitor VHF Channel 16.
In the event of any incident or suspicious activity, U.S. flagged commercial vessels should notify the NATO Shipping Center and activate the Ship Security Alert System immediately.
U.S. flagged commercial vessels are also encouraged to participate in the NATO Shipping Center’s Mediterranean Voluntary Reporting Scheme. This entails contacting the NATO Shipping Center when entering or departing the Mediterranean Sea, and/or departing port in the Mediterranean Sea. Preferred reporting method is online via the “Mediterranean Reporting Scheme – Format A” link at https://shipping.nato.int/nsc. Alternatively, the forms can be downloaded, completed, and submitted either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to +44 (0) 1923-956-575.
Vessels operating in these areas may encounter GPS interference, AIS spoofing, and/or other communications jamming. Maritime GPS disruptions or anomalies should be reported immediately to the USCG NAVCEN at https://go.usa.gov/xQBaw or via phone at 703-313-5900, 24-hours a day. Additional guidance for vessels experiencing GPS interference can be found in Maritime Advisory 2021-010 at https://go.usa.gov/xtHn2.
Additionally, per 33 CFR 101.305, all suspicious activities, breaches of security, and transportation security incident events must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center.
U.S. mariners in this area are advised to consult Department of State Travel Advisories at: https://go.usa.gov/xUa5F. American citizens abroad should inform the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of their plans to transit the area and/or update their information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at: https://go.usa.gov/xEYEE.
4. Contact Information:
a) NATO Shipping Center (NSC): email@example.com or +44 (0) 1923-956-574. NSC Advisories and warnings can be found at https://shipping.nato.int/nsc.
b) U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center: +1-800-424-8802.
c) For maritime industry questions about this advisory, contact GMCC@uscg.mil. Supplemental information may also be found on the MARAD Office of Maritime Security website at: https://go.usa.gov/xUKsb.
5. Cancellation: This message will automatically expire on August 12, 2022.
For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit https://go.usa.gov/xtHYH.