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Nautilus International is seeking clarity from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Department for Transport on how members are affected by sanctions rules covering Russian-linked vessels, including superyachts.

On 30 March The Russian (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No.7) regulations 2022 came into force, which states that UK nationals must not provide 'technical assistance' to vessels under sanction except where failure to do so would result in danger to life or the vessel.

Since that time, the Union has received enquiries from members on impacted vessels who are concerned about whether they are committing a criminal offence by continuing to work onboard, what they can and cannot do for the vessel, and which positions onboard are at risk as a result of the regulations.

It may be that seafarers fall outside the intended scope of the legislation, but this has not been confirmed either way to date by the relevant authorities.

'Nautilus International strongly campaigns against the criminalisation of seafarers, and currently our legal department is reviewing the new legislation,' said Nautilus strategic organiser Laura Molineux.

'Our professional and technical department is also in discussions with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Department for Transport seeking clarity on what "technical assistance" means in practice on superyachts; whether these sanctions are categorically applicable for yacht crew; and if so, when they become applicable. The MCA has advised that it is currently reviewing this and will provide feedback as soon as possible.

'When we receive this feedback we will be able to provide some clear guidance to our members and will ensure that our website and social platforms are updated without delay so that crew have up-to-date information.'

Any crew that are currently experiencing difficulties as a result of sanctions, including having their salaries withheld, are advised to get in contact with the Union as soon as possible for advice and support on their specific situation.


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