Russian ships banned from U.S. ports

Written by Nick Blenkey
Biden bans Russian ships

President Biden: “No ship that sails under the Russian flag or that is owned or operated by Russian interests will be allowed to dock in our ports or access our shores.” [Screen grab from C-Span video]

President Joe Biden today issued a proclamation prohibiting the entry of Russian-affiliated ships into U.S. ports.

The proclamation defines “Russian-affiliated ships” as:

  • vessels of Russian registry (i.e., the vessel is Russian flagged);
  • vessels that are Russian owned (i.e., the legal title of ownership of the vessel that appears on the ship’s registration documents is the Government of the Russian Federation or a Russian company, citizen, or permanent resident); or
  • vessels that are Russian operated (i.e., a Russian company, citizen, or permanent resident is responsible for the commercial decisions concerning the employment of a ship and decides how and where that asset is employed).

In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate spelling out the reasons for the ban and what it involves, President Biden wrote “the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation to continue the premeditated, unjustified, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine … constitute a national emergency by reason of a disturbance or threatened disturbance of international relations of the United States.”

“The proclamation prohibits Russian-affiliated vessels from entering into United States ports with limited exceptions for Russian-affiliated vessels used in the transport of source material, special nuclear material, and nuclear byproduct material for which, and for such time as, the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce, determines that no viable source of supply is available that would not require transport by Russian‑affiliated vessels; and for Russian-affiliated vessels requesting only to enter United States ports due to force majeure, solely to allow seafarers of any nationality to disembark or embark for purposes of conducting crew changes, emergency medical care, or for other humanitarian need. The proclamation also authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to make and issue such rules and regulations as the Secretary may find appropriate to regulate the anchorage and movement of Russian-affiliated vessels, and delegates to the Secretary my authority to approve such rules and regulations, as authorized by the Magnuson Act.”

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