2022-004-Black Sea and Sea of Azov-Military Combat Operations
This advisory is an update and cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2022-002.
1. References: U.S. Maritime Advisory 2021-010 & NATO Shipping Center “Risk of Collateral Damage in the North Western Black Sea”
2. Issue: Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, there have been reports of multiple commercial vessels being struck by projectiles and/or experiencing explosions in Ukrainian ports, and in the northwestern Black Sea off the coast of Ukraine. There have also been reports of naval mines in the water near Odesa. There is a high risk of damage to U.S.-flagged commercial vessels in this region.
3. Guidance: U.S. flagged commercial vessels should avoid entering or approaching the Sea of Azov, Ukrainian ports, or Ukrainian territorial waters in the northwestern Black Sea. Vessels operating near these areas are advised to exercise caution, conduct a risk assessment; review security measures; review current NATO Shipping Center, NAVAREA III and other local broadcast warnings; 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, filled in, and submitted either via email to email@example.com 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.
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:
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 of Prior Advisories: This message supersedes and cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2022-002.
6. This message will automatically expire on September 4, 2022.
For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit https://go.usa.gov/xtHYH.