Due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the U.S. classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has decided to withdraw all class services involving Russian vessels, assets and companies.

“After careful consideration of the situation in Ukraine and the Black Sea as well as the applicable sanctions, ABS has taken the decision to withdraw all Class services involving Russian vessels, assets and companies.

“The decision follows the tragic events developing in Ukraine and a thorough evaluation of the evolving regulatory and sanctions environment and its applicability to ABS operations. As a U.S. company, ABS strictly follows both the letter and the spirit of U.S. sanctions’ law.

“ABS is in the process of communicating with all affected clients and stakeholders to ensure a safe and orderly transition out of ABS Class.

“ABS is in contact with all employees in the region and working to ensure their safety“, ABS stated.

The classification society announced their decision today, 14 March, coinciding with the International Association of Classification Societies’ (IACS) decision to exclude the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS) from the IACS membership.

The decisions by classification societies are the results of numerous economic, energy and transport sanctions imposed against Russia over the past several weeks.

To mention a few, on 1 March, Russian ships were banned from UK ports and authorities were granted new powers to detain Russian vessels.

According to an analysis conducted by data and analytics company Russell Group, £17 billion ($23 billion) of annual Russian exports to the UK could be disrupted by this move.

The Government of Canada followed in the same footsteps and announced intentions to ban Russian-owned or registered ships and fishing vessels in Canadian ports and internal waters.

Moreover, several container shipping majors have temporarily suspended bookings to and from Russia, including Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE).

Source: Offshore Energy