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The conflict in Ukraine

Norway has introduced sanctions against Russia as a consequence of the invasion of Ukraine. Russian flagged vessels and vessels registered with RMRS weare banned from calling at Norwegian ports. Russian fishing vessels of more than 500 GT may, however, call at the ports of Tromsø, Kirkenes and Båtsfjord. Because of the national security situation, the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has stated that the threat of espionage in Norway is greater now than before the invasion.

  • Which sanctions apply to port calls?

    The sanctions against Russia have been laid down in the regulations on measures concerning Ukraine’s integrity, etc.

    The regulations have been implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Businesses may submit questions to sanctions@mfa.no.

    Since 8 May 2022, Russian-flagged vessels and vessels that flew the Russian flag as of 24 February (even though they have changed flag since then) are banned from calling at Norwegian ports. The ban includes vessels over 500 gross tonnage that sail commercially in international traffic, yachts, and certain pleasure and recreation craft.

    Since 14 October 2022, the ban also includes fishing vessels, except fishing vessels calling on the ports of Tromsø, Kirkenes or Båtsfjord. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have issued a guideline specifying which terminals in the three ports that can receive russian fishing vessels, and the procedures that apply to such port calls. The contents of the guideline is included below under «Which terminals/quays may receive Russian fishing vessels» and “Procedures for port calls from Russian fishing vessels”. The latest procedure was issued on 22.6.2023 and includes guidance on shipyard services, cf. reminder from MoD 12.5.2023.

    The ban does not apply to search and rescue vessels or research vessels. The ban applies to ports in mainland Norway but not in the Svalbard archipelago. The ban on Russian vessels calling at Norwegian ports is laid down in section 19(a) of the sanction regulations.

    Furthermore, there is a ban on trading certain goods, requirements that some deliveries need prior permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a ban on engaging in commercial activity with designated foreign actors. These sanctions may also impact vessel traffic and ports.

    The Norwegian government’s web page on the sanctions (in Norwegian).

  • Which terminals/quays may receive Russian fishing vessels?

    The government has specified which quays/terminals in these ports the vessels may call at:


    • Kai 20, 21, 22, 23 and 38 in Breivika, Tromsø
    • Troms fryseterminal AS in Tromsø
    • Tromsø Mekaniske AS, if the vessel shall receive shipyard services agreed by the MoD* 


    • Dampskipskaia in Båtsfjord
    • Nessekaia in Båtsfjord
    • Neptunbukta in Båtsfjord


    • Industrikaia in Kirkenes
    • Dypvannskaia in Kirkenes
    • Hurtigrutekaia in Kirkenes
    • Sentrumskaia i Kirkenes
    • Kimek AS, if the vessel shall receive shipyard services agreed by the MoD*
    • Tscudi Bulk Terminals AS
    • Henriksen Shipping Service AS

    If there is a real need to call at a quay/terminal other than the above listed, Police and Customs must be contacted in advance to establish whether there is capacity to conduct necessary controls in the relevant quay/terminal.

    *Regarding shipyards: All shipyard services to Russian vessels are prohibited, unless expressly allowed by the MoD in accordance with the guidelines.

  • Can individual ports deny entry to Russian vessels that have not been sanctioned?

    At the outset, the owners and operators of Norwegian ports are obliged to permit entry to vessels as far as the port’s capacity allows, pursuant to section 27 of the Harbour and Fairways Act. This duty is not intended to limit the owner’s or operator’s opportunity to decide for themselves the scope of the port’s activity.

    The intention of the provision is to ensure that maritime transport is given access to the port infrastructure that the port owner in fact has made available to general traffic, or else the type of traffic that the port has decided to admit to the port section in question.

    Pursuant to section 27, the ports can deny entry to vessels if their admittance endangers the environment or security. Ports are allowed to deny entry to a vessel because of its risk to the environment if there is a current and probable threat to the environment. The term “security” refers here to the physical security of the port itself.

    A vessel can be denied entry if such entry threatens to damage the port infrastructure or the people who are in the port. National security assessments are not encompassed by the term “security” in section 27, cf. the statement by the Ministry of Transport. Such assessments are made by the Ministry of Defence and not by the individual port.

    Naturally, the ports’ obligation to allow vessels to enter is suspended in regard to vessels that are sanctioned.

  • How will pilotage and the pilot exemption certificate (PEC) scheme be handled?

    The current sanctions against Russia will not affect pilotage or the pilot exemption certificate (PEC) scheme. As before, vessels subject to compulsory pilotage may use Russian and other foreign navigators with a valid pilot exemption certificate to meet the compulsory pilotage requirements. Russian vessels allowed to call on a Norwegian port may also engage a pilot as per usual.

    Compulsory pilotage is a measure that aims to prevent navigational accidents along the coast. Through this system, the Norwegian Coastal Administration requires that vessels either sail with a pilot or use a pilot exemption certificate. The pilot exemption certificate (Norw. farledsbevis) is issued to navigators who can document a sufficient number of journeys in sheltered waters along the Norwegian coast and who have passed a practical test on board the vessel, either with a pilot as the examiner or with an assessor. Please note, however, that it is only vessels longer than 70 metres (50 m for passenger vessels/vessels with hazardous cargo) that need to use a pilot or pilot exemption certificate. Vessels below 70 m use neither a pilot nor a pilot exemption certificate when sailing.

  • What circumstances should Norwegian ports and vessels be aware of?

    On the basis of an increased threat level, the Norwegian Coastal Administration has from raised the maritime security level to level 2 for selected port facilities. The facilities in question have been informed.

    The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) assesses threats to national security on an ongoing basis and is monitoring the situation closely. It is worth noting that the national threat assessment identifies Russia as a known threat actor in Norway, so that the general threat of for example cyber attacks remains present. The assessment also encourages increased vigilance.

    For enquiries or to report a concern, please contact PST.

  • Will SafeSeaNet help identify sanctioned Russian vessels?

    The Norwegian Coastal Administration has established a solution that sends notification to the port of call if a vessel with Russian flag or that had one before February 24th reports arrival at a Norwegian port. The notification is sent as an e-mail to the port and the port's PFSO.

    The notification is sent out automatically from SafeSeaNet and must be considered as an information message. There may be errors in the data. Among other things, there may occur notification of vessels under 500 GT or fishing vessels. The port must therefore decide on an independent basis whether the vessel is covered by the sanctions or not.

  • Does the ban against entering Norwegian ports apply to Russian vessels that need a place of refuge or shelter?

    Section 19(a) of the regulations on measures concerning Ukraine’s integrity, etc., makes an exception for vessels in need of assistance and that are seeking a place of refuge for the sake of maritime safety or to save lives at sea. Thus, Russian vessels that are subject to the sanctions will be allowed entry to a Norwegian port in the event of an emergency.

  • May Russian vessels be given permission to call at a Norwegian port?

    Pursuant to section 19(a) of the regulations on measures concerning Ukraine’s integrity, etc., Russian vessels may receive permission to call at Norwegian ports if necessary for the import, export, or transport of specific goods, or in certain cases for vessels that have changed flag. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the authority to give such permission.

    Applications for permission to enter port can be sent to sanctions@mfa.no. A lack of reply is not to be considered as permission given.

  • Will reloading operations be affected by the ban?

    If a reloading operation is carried out to contravene the sanctions, the operation will be encompassed by the ban. This means that, pursuant to section 20 of the regulations (concerning contravention of the regulations), the ship that has taken the reloaded goods on board will also be denied entry to ports in Norway. The decisive point will be whether the reloading operation was planned and carried out to avoid the sanctions by reloading from a vessel that is subject to the ban to a vessel that is not subject to the ban.

  • Procedures for port calls from Russian fishing vessels

    When the port receives information about a port call from a Russian fishing vessel, the port or terminal shall:

    • make all necessary arrangements to allow for the authorities to conduct inspections/control of the vessel/port call,
    • tell the vessel to berth at the terminal/key where relevant controls can be conducted,
    • ensure that the vessel does not stay in port longer than necessary.

    How long the vessel may stay in port depends on the purpose of the port call. The port may allow the vessel to stay long enough to:

    • change crew
    • refuel
    • load (subject to the cargo not being sanctioned)
    • provision the vessel
    • carry out controls
    • carry out shipyard services allowed by the MoD

    It is a condition that all activities are in accordance with the sanction rules and in line with what is considered normal activities for a fishing vessel.

  • Who can answer questions about the sanction rules?

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs are responsible for the sanction rules and is the focal point for questions on how to interpret the Regulations on measures concerning Ukraine’s integrity etc.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be contacted at sanctions@mfa.no.

  • Point of contact for ports with questions about Russian vessels covered by the ban

    Ports that have questions about specific Russian vessels covered by the ban on port calls that are on their way to Norway can contact NOR VTS by phone at 78989898 or by e-mail at: nor.vts@kystverket.no

    NOR VTS can provide information about the vessel and can assist with conveying other questions to the right recipient.

  • Who is enforcing the ban?

    The Norwegian Police is the enforcement authority. Should there be need for assistance in enforcing the ban on port calls the local police district must be contacted.

  • Useful links for information



Arve Dimmen +4795190595 / arve.dimmen@kystverket.no
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