Maritime Security and Safety in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov


IMO update 

The ongoing armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine presents a serious and immediate threat to the safety and security of crews and vessels operating in the region. IMO is continuing to liaise closely with all key stakeholders in the region to contribute to efforts to address the safety and security of seafarers and shipping. 

IMO Assembly resolution (2023) 

On 4 December 2023, the 33rd IMO Assembly adopted a resolution A.1183(33) on "The impact of the Russian Armed Invasion of Ukraine on International Shipping", which, among many considerations, underscores the paramount importance of preserving the safety and welfare of seafarers; the need to preserve the security of international shipping and the maritime community; and the supply chains that sustain other nations and provide export-import cargo flow through the seaports of Ukraine, vital for the functioning of the Ukrainian economy.

Through the resolution, the Assembly decided, inter alia, to conduct a needs assessment as a priority with a view to providing technical assistance to support Ukraine in the implementation of IMO instruments as Ukraine continues to operate the special maritime corridor. Funding has been secured and an update will be provided to the IMO Council and Committees. 

Establishment by Ukraine of a special maritime corridor

IMO Resolution A.1183(33) commends the establishment by Ukraine of a special maritime corridor in its sovereign waters in the Black Sea for commercial vessels heading to and from Ukrainian ports, which has facilitated the release of commercial vessels that had been stranded in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyi since the beginning of the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Communications from the Government of Ukraine include: 

Circular Letter No.4769 (24 August 2023) -  Recommended maritime route

Circular Letter No.4748 (19 July 2023) - Maritime route in the north-western part of the Black Sea 

Black Sea Initiative 

The Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) Istanbul - comprising representatives of the Russian Federation, Türkiye, Ukraine and the United Nations - was established to facilitate the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative to establish a humanitarian maritime corridor to allow ships to export grain and related foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine. (See links on the right of this page for BSI latest news).

Communications received from Member States and Associate Members

Communications from Member States and Associate Members are available on IMODOCS and are available publicly here

Official UN pages 

Black Sea Initiative Joint Coordination Centre: website here.

Website for the UN in Ukraine, including relevant statements from the United Nations, can be accessed here.

United Nations news page on Ukraine:

IMO Meetings

Advice for IMO Member States, seafarers and shipping 

IMO has issued circular letters (CL series 4524) to provide guidance for Member States, seafarers, shipping companies and other stakeholders:

  • Circular Letter No.4611/Add.1 (30 August 2022) - Communication from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Black Sea Grain Initiative - Procedures for Merchant Vessels - Updated (final version)

  • Circular Letter No.4611 (9 August 2022) - Communication from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Black Sea Grain Initiative - (interim) Procedures for Merchant Vessels - please see Add.1 above 

  • Circular Letter No.4573 (24 May 2022) - Maritime security threat posed by free floating sea mines in the Black Sea Region

  • Circular Letter No.4524/Add.3 (28 March 2022) - Armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine – Information Reporting Form for Stranded Ships and advice and updates related to maritime security in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov  

  • Circular Letter No.4524/Add.2 (31 March 2022) - Ukraine crisis – Harmonization of PSC activities

  • Circular Letter No.4524/Add.1 (14 March 2022) - Ukraine crisis – Security situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov 

  • Circular Letter No.4524 (7 March 2022) Ukraine crisis – UNHCR Position on Returns to Ukraine

Flag State information

Contact details for individual maritime authorities by country can be located on the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System: Click here.

Resources and support for seafarers

  • Seafarers impacted by the situation can request assistance from IMO's Seafarer Crisis Action Team (SCAT) by emailing

  • IMO Maritime Knowledge Centre page with information resources for and about seafarers: click here.

  • Free, confidential, multilingual helpline for seafarers and their families operated by ISWAN: [external site]

Seafarers International Relief Fund

The Seafarers International Relief Fund, a central charitable Fund to respond to emergencies affecting seafarers and their families, is now supporting seafarers and their families impacted by the humanitarian disaster caused by the crisis in Ukraine.

Please see The Seafarers International Relief Fund ( (donate now button on the page).

Media information

News items can be found at the IMO Media Centre.

Journalists and news agencies can contact

Media contact for the JCC in Istanbul: Ms. Ismini Palla, Media and Communications officer, Joint Coordination Centre, +962770996330, 

External resources and information 

IMO is not responsible for the content in external websites.

BIMCO: Ukraine - overview of content on BIMCO website

ICMA: Prayer for Peace – ICMA

International Chamber of Shipping:


Lloyd's Register:


NAVAREA III warnings in force: NAVAREA III warnings in force (

UNCTAD: Maritme trade disrupted: The war in Ukraine and its effects on maritime trade logistics (June 2022)  

UNCTAD: The impact on trade and development of the war in Ukraine (March 2022) 

UK P&I Club: