Yemen: Port Situation *Update*

11/12/2017 | North

Yemen: Port Situation *Update* - 11 December 2017

North’s correspondent in Yemen has provided an update on the port closures in Yemen as follows:

Port Status Date Comments
Aden Open 08/12/17 Operational
Ash Shihr Open 08/12/17 Operational - Crude export terminal has limited calls
Balhaf Closed 08/12/17  
Hodeidah Open 08/12/17 Open for aid cargo and bulk cargo subject to UNVIM entry permits. Currently no container traffic.
Mokha Closed 08/12/17  
Mukalla Open 08/12/17 Operational
Nishturn Open 08/12/17 Operational - used only for import of refined oils
Ras Isa Closed 08/12/17 Both Rasa Isa Marine Terminal (FSO) and Ras Isa Petroleum Products Reception Facility
Saleef Open 08/12/17  Open for aid cargo and bulk cargo subject to UNVIM entry permits. Currently no container traffic.

Vessels wishing to call at operational ports must apply for permits.

16 November 2017

North’s correspondent GAC has reported the following situation with regard port closures in Yemen.

Port Status Date Comments
Aden Open 13/11/17 Operational
Ash Shihr Open 13/11/17 Operational
Balhaf Closed 13/11/17  
Hodeidah Closed 13/11/17  
Mokha Closed 13/11/17  
Mukalla Open 13/11/17 Operational
Nishturn Open 13/11/17 Operational
Ras Isa Closed 13/11/17 Both Rasa Isa Marine Terminal (FSO) and Ras Isa Petroleum Products Reception Facility
Saleef Closed 13/11/17  

Members entering operational ports not under the direct control of the Government of Yemen must apply for a Certificate of Clearance via UNVIM as outlined in Norths industry news update of the 3 November 2017.

Vessels calling at other major Yemeni ports that are under the control of the Government of Yemen still need clearance from the Saudi Arabian-led coalition prior to entering Yemeni waters.

Entry to Yemeni territorial waters will be granted only following an inspection by the naval forces of Saudi Arabian-led coalition, which can lead to potential delays.

The Master must register the vessel’s arrival with the port authorities upon arrival.

9 November 2017

North’s correspondent GAC in Yemen has reported that the port of Aden is excluded from the recent port closures as it is under the management of the Yemeni government.

Closures remain in place as previously reported for the country’s other ports.

7 November 2017

Further to the update of the 6 November 2017, North’s correspondent GAC in Yemen has reported that ships anchored awaiting berths in the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef were ordered to leave the anchorages and proceed to a safe area outside port limits. However, ships already at berth working cargo were exempt from this order. 

There are no details of such arrangements being made in the ports of Aden and Mukalla.

6 November 2017

North’s correspondent for Yemen, Mutual Marine Services has reported that all Yemen ports are closed as of today, Monday 6 November, until further notice.

All land, sea and air ports have been closed by the Saudi-led coalition after a ballistic missile was launched towards Riyadh International Airport. It is reported that the closures will be temporary however no permits will be issued by the Minister for Transport in Yemen to allow ships to enter the country until further notice.

3 November 2017

Local P&I correspondents regularly provide North with advice on the status of ports in Yemen and an updated list of all ports and their current status is provided below.

Yemen Table

Yemen’s civil war has continued to escalate throughout 2016, carrying with it the potential to spill over into the shipping lanes of the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Following an attempted suicide attack on a Merchant ship in October, a number of Government agencies and security experts have issued additional recommendations, which can be read by clicking here.

Commercial Shipments to Hodeidah, Mokha, Saleef Port and associated oil terminals: 

The UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM) is operational with immediate effect, aiming to boost  commercial imports while enforcing an arms embargo imposed through UN Security Council resolution 2216 (2015). Ship operators or vessel masters shipping commercial goods or services to Hodeidah, Mokha, Saleef Port and associated oil terminals need to apply for permits upon departure of the port of origin of their cargo. 

All other Shipments: 

All humanitarian vessels going to any Yemeni port and all commercial vessels calling Yemeni ports under the control of the Government of Yemen (Aden and Mukalla) need to continue to apply for entry permission through the Ministry of Transport through the ships agent and/or receivers, prior to the vessel’s arrival.

A copy of the Ministry of Transport form “Request for Commercial and Relief Vessels to Yemeni Ports” can be found here.  The form should be completed by the ship's master and sent directly to the Ministry of Transport at

In addition, vessels calling at Yemeni ports will only be allowed to enter Yemeni territorial waters following an inspection by the Saudi Arabian coalition forces.  A copy of the application can be found here. In order to avoid lengthy delays in port entry, Members should advise their vessels to make an application 7 to 10 days prior to the vessel arriving at the port’s anchorage.

The Saudi Arabian coalition/task forces require notice of arrival (on VHF Chanel 16) 3 nm outside Yemen’s territorial waters and the entrance to the Red Sea (Bab Al Mandab Strait) Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS).  Upon granting approval, an anchorage position will be specified by the coalition forces, (outside of Yemen’s territorial waters) until final approval for port entry is issued.

The following (notice of arrival) information is required by the coalition forces:

  • Name of vessel
  • Call sign
  • IMO number
  • Port of registry
  • Type of vessel
  • Number of crew members on board
  • Last port of call
  • Next port of call (if calling at a Yemeni port, please see the next set of questions).
  • Nationality of crew and master
  • Cargo (type and quantity)
  • Load port
  • Armed guards on board? If yes, their nationality
  • Type and number of arms and ammunition
  • Coalition forces require AIS to be kept on at all times.

Once the vessel is allowed to enter port, the Master is required to register arrival with Port Control Services (on VHF Channel 14 or 16) and await allocation of an anchorage position until berthing prospects are confirmed by the harbour master.

Members may wish to refer to our Maritime Threats and Incidents platform as the Current Maritime Incidents section for Yemen is updated regularly.

North has also produced an information sheet to assist Members and this can be found on our website here: Yemen Information Sheet

The situation is subject to change and Members should check frequently with local sources for any changes. However, power and communication outages ashore can make maintaining contact difficult.