Updated 20 November 2017

This information is also available in Japanese.

Ports located in areas controlled by the Government of Yemen, including Aden and Mukalla, are open for humanitarian aid and commercial cargoes while access to the Red Sea ports of Hodeidah and Saleef are subject to special clearance by UNVIM.


Port situation

According to information received from Gard’s correspondent, Gulf Agency Co. Ltd. (GAC), the port situation in Yemen as at 17 November 2017 is as follows:

  • Working: Aden, Mukalla, Ash Shihr Terminal and Nishtun
  • Closed: Mokha, Ras Isa Marine Terminal (Safer), Balhaf LNG Terminal, Saleef and Hodeidah

The situation is, however, subject to rapid change and Members and clients are advised to warn their vessels’ crews of the volatility of the situation and to carry out an assessment of the risks involved prior to entering or transiting Yemeni waters. The capacity of operating ports may be limited, cranes may be unavailable and there may be a lack of fuel supplies and other basic services. As vessels calling at Yemeni ports are only permitted to enter Yemeni territorial waters once they have obtained entry permission from the Yemen Ministry of Transport and clearance from the Saudi Arabian-led coalition following inspections, postponements and delays must be expected.


Entry conditions

Shipping companies or owners shipping commercial goods or services to ports not under the direct control of the Government of Yemen must notify and apply for a Certificate of Clearance via UNVIM. The clearance application must be submitted upon departure from the port of origin of their cargo and at least five days prior to arrival at their port of destination in Yemen. 

Vessels calling at 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, and a copy of the Ministry of Transport’s form “Entry permission for commercial and relief ships to Yemeni ports” should be completed and sent by email to the Operations Unit of the Evacuation and Humanitarian Operations at: yemen.transport@gmail.com not less than a week before vessel’s entry/arrival.

Entry to Yemeni territorial waters will be granted only following an inspection by the naval forces of Saudi Arabian-led coalition. Once a vessel reaches the outskirts of Bab-el-Mandeb, some 3nm from Yemen’s territorial waters, a notice of arrival must be called in by the Master on VHF channel 16. The naval forces of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition will then advice where the vessel should anchor pending completion of the inspection and approval of the port entry. Once the vessel is permitted to enter port, the Master must register the vessel’s arrival with the port authorities (on VHF Channel 14 or 16) and will then be assigned an anchoring position until the berthing time is confirmed by the Harbour Master.



Members and clients calling at Yemeni ports are advised to take note of the above vessel clearance procedures and clarify the security situation and the status of a port’s services well before arrival as availability of cranes, fuel, manpower, etc. may be limited.

We would also like to emphasise the importance of closely following the guidance provided by BMP4 when operating in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region as well as registering with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) and Maritime Security Center Horn of Africa (MSCHOA)/European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR).

Since the political situation in Yemen remains volatile and advice concerning port security and operations may change rapidly, it is important to make frequent checks with local sources of information, e.g. vessel’s agent, Gard’s correspondent, etc., to obtain the most up to date and reliable security information available at any given time in order to assess the current security situation prior to entering Yemini waters. Information may also be obtained via GAC’s website under “Hot Port News”.


We would like to thank Gard’s correspondent Gulf Agency Co. Ltd. for their assistance in the preparation of this update.


Other Gard updates

Alert: New guidance for Red Sea/Gulf of Aden transits of 25 July 2017

Alert: US MARAD updates its Red Sea Security warning of 29 March 2017

Alert: Yemen and Red Sea security update of 30 January 2017

Alert: Red Sea security warning of 14 October 2016

Topic page: Sanctions


The US International Port Security Program

In accordance with the latest Port Security Advisory (2-17) of 5 September 2017, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has determined that, with exception of Balhaf LNG Terminal, ports in Yemen are not maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures.

Under the US Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), the USCG is required to assess the effectiveness of antiterrorism measures implemented in foreign ports from which US documented vessels and foreign vessels depart on a voyage to the US and other foreign ports believed to pose a security risk to international maritime commerce. As ports with ineffective antiterrorism measures are identified, this information is published in the Federal Register and the USCG will impose conditions of entry on vessels arriving in the US that visited such ports as one of their last five ports of call. Under the conditions of entry, affected vessels must:

  • implement measures as per the ship’s security plan equivalent to security level 2 while in port in Yemen;
  • ensure that each access point to the ship is guarded and that the guards have total visibility of the exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel while it is in port in Yemen;
  • attempt to execute a declaration of security while in port in Yemen;
  • log all security actions in the ship’s security records; and
  • report the actions taken to the relevant Coast Guard captain of the port prior to arrival in US waters.

Any affected vessel that does not meet the stipulated conditions may be denied entry into the US.

The complete list of ports considered to have ineffective antiterrorism measures along with the associated conditions of entry are included in the policy notices available on the US Coast Guard website: International Port Security Programs