November 2017 Violations of the Crimea Maritime Sanctions: Grain Export and Cement and Ilmenite Import

The Avlita Sevastopol terminal: on the right - the grain section, on the left - the metal, cement and cargo containers section. The vast majority of grain illegally exported from the occupied Crimea is serviced at the Avlita.

Head of the BSNews and Maidan of Foreign Affairs monitoring group,
Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies Expert,
Editor-in-chief of the BlackSeaNews, Yalta-Kyiv

The Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies, BSNews and Maidan of Foreign Affairs monitoring group continues to publish our monitoring results of the violations of the Ukrainian and international maritime sanctions regarding the Russia-occupied Crimea. 

Below are the main trends for November 1-30, 2017, as well as the up-to-date summary for 2017.

The Major Trends of the Last 11 Months of 2017: Lebanon Maintains the Leadership

The Total Number of Infringing Ships, Including Permanently Based, Repaired and Laid-Up Vessels, per Months of 2017

According to our data, as of December 1, 2017, the total of 328 seagoing vessels have violated the regime of the occupied territory and international sanctions in the ports of the Crimean peninsula since the date of its illegal annexation on March 18, 2014, All of them have been entered in our general database that is being updated daily.

As of May 1, 2017, there has been a total of 299 infringing ships, September 1 – 313, November 1 – 323 and December 1 – 328.

The complete database of the “newbies” to the Black List can be found here: Ships-Violators of the Crimea Sanctions that Made First Appearance in Crimea in November 2017.

Just as in October, in November 2017, there has been a total of 81 infringing vessels. 58 of them (71.6%) are Russian-owned, while 23 are from other countries, namely 9 from Lybia, 5 from Turkey, 4 from Romania, 2 from Egypt, 1 from Syria, 1 from Greece and 1 from Germany.

To adequately reflect the situation and the trends, the monitoring group identifies the following groups of infringing ships:

1.      Vessels on lay up or repairs, i.e. those that do not provide transportation and merely "replenish the order package" of the Sevastopol and Kerch shipbuilding and ship repair enterprises; there have been 12 of those in November 2017. Among them was the KNYAZ VLADIMIR cruise liner that earlier that year served the Sochi-Novorossiysk-Yalta-Sevastopol-Sochi cruise route.

2.    Active vessels, i.e. those carrying out cargo and/or passenger transportation to Crimea from ports outside the Crimean peninsula. Those, in turn, are divided into the two categories:

2.1. Vessels permanently based in the ports of the Crimean peninsula - mainly ferries;

In November 2017, the ships that were constantly based in the ports of the Crimean peninsula included ferries (19), Sevastopol-based vessels engaged in the predatory sand extraction in the Bakalsky Spit region (4), passenger catamarans transferred from Sochi (2) and ships transferred to the Kerch port (4) - the total of 29 vessels.

The complete list for that category can be found here: The List of Infringing Vessels Permanently Based in the Ports of Occupied Crimea as of November 30, 2017

2.2.        External vessels, i.e. those carrying out transportation between the ports of the Crimean peninsula and the Russian Federation - except for the port of the Caucasus, which is a ferry crossing - and other foreign countries.

On November 14, 2017, Lebanese dry cargo ship LADY REA carried 8000 tons of Crimean grain from the Sevastopol Avlita terminal to the Syrian port of Tartus

In November 2017, there has been 40 such ships in the Crimean ports, including 17 owned by the shipowner from Russia, 10 – from Lebanon, 5 – from Turkey, 4 – from Romania, 2 – from Egypt, 1 – from Syrian and 1  - from Germany.

The complete list for that category can be found here: The November 2017 List of Active External Infringing Vessels

The table below shows the respective monthly statistics since the beginning of 2017.


Total number of infringing ships, including permanently based and laid up*

Number of those owned by the RF companies

Number of the active “external”

perpetrators, except for those permanently based and laid up

Number of the active “external”

Perpetrators owned by the RF companies

Number of the active “external”

Perpetrators owned by the non-RF companies




































































In November 2017, the end of last summer’s tendency remained, i.e., the number of "external" – non RF - foreign vessels entering the ports of the occupied Crimea for the banned export of Crimean products, has exceeded the number of Russian vessels transporting goods to Crimea (except the ferries).

Just as in October, in September 2017, there were 23 "external" foreign offenders. 17 of the vessels - except the 29 ferries and other vessels permanently based in Crimea and 12 vessels in repairs - were Russian-owned.

The Total Number of Active Infringing Vessels, Excluding Permanently Based, Repaired and Laid Up by Months, 2017

As we reported earlier, in September 2017, according to the country of registration, the first place among the perpetrators - not only in comparison with summer months but for the entire period of monitoring, in general - belonged to the "Lebanese merchant fleet" that provided 8 ships for the Crimean export. 

That trend stayed with 8 Lebanese ships in October 2017 and even intensified with 9 in November.

Cargo to the Occupied Crimea in November 2017

The Structure of Cargo Carried to the Ports of the Occupied Crimea in November 2017 (excluding the cargo brought by ferries)

The main flow of goods imported to the ports of the occupied Crimea (except for the ferry traffic that accounts for the majority of goods) arrives on Russian ships from the Russian ports.

The main volumes of cargo are comprised with the building materials (sand and crushed stone), diesel fuel and glass packaging (bottles) for bottling wine and beer, as well as consumer goods.

In addition, the monthly cargoes of ilmenite ore - the raw material for the production of titanium dioxide – supply the Crimean Titan plant in Armyansk, Northern Crimea.

The complete list can be found here: Cargoes to the Ports of the Occupied Crimea in November 2017

Overall, the following cargo was delivered by seagoing vessels (excl. ferries) to the ports of the occupied Crimea in November 2017:

Cargo Type

Volume, tons

Ports of Delivery and Origin


 7 500

Sevastopol from the RF ports


18 000

Sevastopol, incl. 10 000 t from Turkey

Diesel fuel

11 000

Kerch from the RF ports

Ilmenite ore

13 000

Kerch, incl. 10 000 t from Norway, while 3 000 t - unknown

Glass packaging (bottles)


Kerch from the RF ports

Consumer goods

  6 000

Kerch – 3 500 t from Zonguldak,

Sevastopol – 2 500 t from Novorossiysk


56 100

incl.30 600 from the RF and 26 500 - -from other countries


In total, 11 out of 17 vessels owned by companies of the Russian Federation, as well as 4 of 23 vessels belonging to shipowners from other countries, were engaged in sea freight transportation to ports of the occupied Crimea (excl. ferries).

Ten Thousand Tons of Cement from Turkey to Sevastopol

Earlier, the entire volume of goods imported by Crimea was provided by the merchant fleet belonging to the RF shipowners. But November, other foreign vessels that usually went for the Crimean export cargo in ballast, that is, without cargo, started joining the scheme.

On November 14, 2017, a notorious violator of the Crimean sanctions belonging to the Romanian shipowner, NADALINA (IMO: 8215754), delivered to the Sevastopol Sea Fishing Port 5000 tons of cement from the Turkish Black Sea port of Bartin, after which proceeded to  Sevastopol’s grain terminal Avlita  - that even after the occupation of Crimea is said to remain linked with Renat Akhmetov’s SKM holding - ​​where it took the cargo of 4500 tons of grain for the Syrian port of Tartus.

NADALINA (IMO: 8215754) in ballast enters the Turkish port of Bartin to take cement for Sevastopol, photoby  Babür HALULU.


Flag: Sierra Leone

Vessel type: General Cargo

Former name(s):
Rainbow S (2013)
East Express (2010)
Taurus (2002 Aug)
Hirsholm (2000)
Nordia (1996)
Anna (1989)


IMO: 8215754
MMSI: 667005244
Callsign: 9LD2544

Gross tonnage: 1,983 tons
Summer DWT: 5,722 tons
Length: 97 m
Beam: 16 m
Draught: 5.7 m

Build year: 1983

Ship manager/Commercial manager

RUAD MARINE SERVICES SRL 3rd Floor, Bulevardul Mamaia 122, 900673 Constanta, Romania. since 01/06/2014

ISM Manager RUAD MARINE SERVICES SRL 3rd Floor, Bulevardul Mamaia 122, 900673 Constanta, Romania. since 01/06/2014

Registered owner
AMRO GATE MARINE SA Care of Ruad Marine Services Srl , 3rd Floor, Bulevardul Mamaia 122, 900673 Constanta, Romania. since 10/08/2013




The same scheme - from Turkey cement to Sevastopol and from Sevastopol - grain to Syria or Lebanon - in November 2017 was used by another "veteran" of our black list, the Lebanese cargo ship RANDA (IMO: 8414283). On November 17, it delivered 5 000 tons of cement to Sevastopol dumping it at the Avlita terminal and then on November 25, moved to the Kamyshev Bay where it loaded grain for Beirut.


RANDA (IMO: 8414283) leaves Sevastopol’s main harbor after unloading cement and takes course onto the Kamyshev Bay for grain loading, November 25, 2017


Flag: Togo (since 01/01/2017)

Vessel type:
General Cargo

IMO: 8414283
Callsign: D6A2011

Gross tonnage: 2,831 tons
Summer DWT: 5,160 tons

Build year: 1984
Builder: Shin Kochi Jyuko
Kochi, Japan

Registered owner

ALKARRA RI Care of ISM Group Inc, 3rd Floor, Yakobian Building, al-Kuwait Street, Beirut, Lebanon. since 12/01/2017

Ship manager/Commercial manager
ISM GROUP INC 3rd Floor, Yakobian Building, al-Kuwait Street, Beirut, Lebanon. since 15/08/2013





The De-Facto Commissioning of the New Ferry Line Zonguldak-Kerch


In the last report Violation of the Crimean Maritime Sanction in September-October 2017: the Lebanese-Egyptian Fleet we wrote that “on October 6, 2017, the authorities of the Chamber of Shipping of the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent the "The Principles of Shipping in the Black Sea and Crimea" directive to all sea transport and port business providers indicating the need to "enact preventive measures that correspond to the foreign the policy of our country in relation to the restrictions imposed on vessel calls at the ports of Crimea.”

At the same time, in was October that we saw the beginning of the schemes to bypass these prohibitions: the well-known violator, Turkish ferry ERKE, in October 2017, actually launched a new ferry line Zonguldak - Kerch Sea Commercial Port.

Turkish ferry ERKE arrives to the occupied Kerch on October 23, 2017

While at the end of October we have taken it as a result of a normal lag in the practical application of a new regulation, in November 2017, it became obvious that the Zonguldak port was not going to comply with the decisions of the Turkish authorities, as the Turkish ferry ERKE was joined by another notorious perpetrator, the Russian ferry VARYAG.

In November 2017, those two ferries made 3 trips/each from the Turkish port of Zonguldak to the occupied Kerch. Both ferries falsified the AIS information by listing port Kavkaz as the destination, then switching off the AIS transmitters in the Kerch Strait and heading for Kerch.


Vessel type:
Ro-ro/passenger Ship.

IMO: 7014581

Gross tonnage: 1,456 tons. Summer DWT: 452 tons.
Length × Breadth: 74.48m × 12.02

Build year: 1970..

Class society: Maritime Lloyd

Ship manager/Commercial manager SARI DENIZCILIK NAKLIYAT Sultan Sokak 10/2, Kemerkaya Mah, 61030 Trabzon, Turkey. since 01/09/2004

Registered owner PASTEL HOLDINGS LTD Monrovia, Liberia. since 01/09/2004


March 16-November 20, 2015 – serviced the regular Zonguldak- Evpatoria ferry line


December 1, 2016 – February 22, 2017 -- serviced the regular Zonguldak- Sevastopol ferry line


October 1, 2017 - KMMP from Trabzon with goods, on Oct.3 left for the port of Taman region, possibly for bunkering. On the way back to Samsun, on Oct.5 made a sharp turn and returned to the raid of the the Kavkaz port where remained until Oct.7, after which left on Sinop arriving jn Oct. 8.

October 14, 2017 - KMMP from Zonguldak, in the AIS indicated the Kavkaz port, turned off AIS in Kherch Strait around 07:57 on Oct.14 at the Kamysh-Burun traverse, went to the KMMP. Left on October 17 -- DTA #451 (initially Turkey), actually went to the raid in the Sea of ​​Azov, then to the Tortuga raid, then returned to DTA #451. On Oct.21 arrived to Zonguldak in ballast

Oct.23, 2017  - KMMP from Zonguldak, tonnage 260 t, switched off AIS in the strait, indicated the Kavkaz port, on Oct. 26 left  Zonguldak via registration at the Kavkaz port raid

November 9, 2017– from Zonguldak to the KMMP without AIS, listed Kavkaz, tonnage 300

November 16, 2017 – from Zonguldak to the KMMP without AIS, listed Kavkaz, tonnage 370

November 26, 2017 – from Zonguldak to the KMMP without AIS, listed Kavkaz



Flag: Panama

Vessel type: Ro-ro Cargo
IMO: 8019887
Gross tonnage: 4,961 tons
Summer DWT: 2,813 tons
Length: 115 m. Beam: 18 m
Draught: 5.4 m
Build year: 1981

Ship manager/Commercial manager: CHARTERING BUREAU LLC Ofis 5N, Level A, ul Gorokhovaya 7/15, St Petersburg, 190000, Russia. since 27/10/2015. 

Registered owner: CR SHIPS LTD Care of Chartering Bureau LLC , Ofis 5N, Level A, ul Gorokhovaya 7/15, St Petersburg


August 5, 2015 – December 22, 2015 -- serviced the regular Zonguldak- Sevastopol ferry line

On October 28, 2016 resumed voyages to Zonguldak

November 4, 2016 - from Zonguldak

November 12, 2016 - from Zonguldak

November 21, 2016 - from Zonguldak

March 4, 2017 - from Zonguldak

March 28, 2017 — left for Novorossiysk, then Tartus
May 25, 2017 - SSFP из Зонгулдака-Тартуса


Nov.12, 2017 - КМMP from Zonguldak to the KMMP without AIS, listed Kavkaz, tonnage 800

Nov.20, 2017 - КМMP from Zonguldak to the KMMP without AIS, listed Kavkaz, tonnage 800

No. 28, 2017 - КМMP from Zonguldak to the KMMP without AIS, listed Kavkaz, tonnage 800


It should be noted that Russian ferry VARYAG is also known for numerous voyages from Novorossiysk to the Syrian port of Tartus, the site of the Russian naval base is located, with military equipment on board.

Something New: 10 000 tons of Ilmenite from Norway to Crimea via Romania on a German Boat

As we have repeatedly registered, the shipping of ilmenite to the Kerch port of Kamysh-Burun continues on a monthly basis. The ilmenite ore is being used by the single buyer in the occupied peninsula — the Titan plant in Armyansk, in the north of Crimea that is part of the corporate group owned by Dmytro Firtash.

Over the course of the year, we have followed the ilmenite supplying schemes circumventing the sanctions from the Ukrainian Pivdennyi port, Brazil and the largest one – from the Turkis Samsun. In the majority of cases, the ilmenite was carried to the designated transshipment area in the Kerch Strait (DTA #451 of the Russian Kavkaz port), then reloaded at sea onboard the Russian ships and later unloaded at the Kerch port of Kamysh-Burun.

But at the end of November 2017, the transportation of ilmenite to Crimea had taken a peculiar turn (German Ship Delivers 10,000 Tons of Ilmenite from Norway to the Occupied Crimea’s Titan Plant – a BSNews Investigation.) 

On November 23, 2017, a German cargo ship HHL MISSISSIPPI (IMO: 9435765) arrived from the Romanian Constanta under the flag of Liberia to the roadstead of the Russian Port Kavkaz in the Kerch Strait (the same roadstead #451) and remained there until December 5, 2017.

Over that period, for at least three times, an old Russian cargo ship NEFTERUDOVOZ-2 (IMO: 8986884) approached it and the HHL MISSISSIPPIonboard cranes loaded ilmenite to the NEFTERUDOVOZ-2 holds. After that, the Russian ship delivered ilmenite to the Kerch port of Kamysh-Burun.

The further investigation has uncovered that:

On November 2, 2017, HHL MISSISSIPPI left the port of Bremen and on November 3 arrived at the small Norwegian port of Jøssingfjord, the site one of the largest in Norwegian and one of the largest in Western Europe titanium mines Tellnes. The mine is run by Titania, while the fjord is used as the company’s port.

It was there that on November 3-6, 2017, HHL MISSISSIPPI accepted a cargo of 10,000 tons of ilmenite ore for the occupied Crimea.

This is how the reputable companies from Germany and Norway were involved in the illegal scheme of the export supplies to the occupied Crimea…

It’s the first time that Norway was caught supplying ilmenite to the occupied peninsula. Earlier, similar schemes from the Ukrainian port Pivdennyi, Brazil and the largest one - from the Turkish port Samsun – had been recorded. As a result, having been highlighted in various journalistic investigations, they attracted the attention of those states’ authorities and were stopped.

The joint monitoring group of the Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies, the Maidan of Foreign Affairs and the BlackSeaNews is confident that after this publication the appropriate conclusions will be made as well...

The full text of the investigation can be found here: German Ship Delivers 10,000 Tons of Ilmenite from Norway to the Occupied Crimea’s Titan Plant – a BSNews Investigation

The November 2017 Exports – What and Where to

On November 7, 2017, Lebanese cargo ship ALIANCA carried 2500 tons of Crimean grain from the Sevastopol’s Avlita terminal to the Egyptian port of Alexandria

All in all, in November 2017, sea vessels (excl. ferries) exported about 117.8 thousand tons of cargo from the ports of the occupied Crimea, specifically: 87.8 thousand tons (74.5%) from ports of Sevastopol, 28 thousand tons (23.8 %) from the ports of Kerch and 2 thousand tons (1,7%) from Feodosia.

Distribution of Total Illegal Export by the Ports of the Occupied Crimea in November 2017

Grain tops the charts of the export cargo from the occupied Crimea by a large margin. Its transportation involved 18 foreign (non-Russian) and 4 Russian vessels. At the same time, the 4 Russian ships transported export grain only to the transshipment areas of the port Kavkaz in the Kerch Strait.

The total volume of grain exported from Crimea in November 2017 amounted to 102,800 tons, or 87.3% of the total volume of illegal exports. Of that amount, 82,800 tons, or 80.5%, were exported from the ports of Sevastopol.

In turn, 73.300 tons of grain was exported from the Sevastopol terminal Avlita that belongs to the SCM group of Ukrainian businessman Renat Akhmetov, which makes for 88.5% of the total volume of Sevastopol exports and 71.3% of the total Crimean port grain exports in November 2017.

Distribution of Illegal Grain Exports by the Crimean Grain Terminals in November 2017


Grain was exported to Syria (44,600 tons, or 43.4% of total exports), Lebanon (23,100 tons, or 22.5%), Egypt (11,000 tons, or 10.7%) and unrecognized North Cyprus (7,200 tons, or 7%). Another 16,900 tons (16.4%) were exported via the transshipment raid in the Kerch Strait (port Kavkaz) and the illegal transshipment raid 12 miles South of the Kerch Strait (the so-called, Tortuga).

Distribution of the Illegal Crimean Grain Export by the Recipient Countries in November 2017

The banned exports from the ports of the occupied Crimea involved 4 vessels of shipowners from the Russian Federation and 21 vessels of shipowners from other countries.

Two foreign vessels made voyages with the export cargo of the Crimean calcined soda. After a long break, two Turkish tanker gas carriers also renewed their voyages. Also, we have recorded 1 export voyage with scrap metal.

Cargo type


Port of origin

Port of destination


 3 000

Sevastopol, Avlita

Tripoli, Lebanon


10 000

Sevastopol, Avlita

Beirut, Lebanon


33 600

Sevastopol, Avlita

Tartus, Syria


11 000

Sevastopol, Avlita

Latakia, Syria


  8 500

Sevastopol, Avlita

Alexandria, Egypt


  7 200

Sevastopol, Avlita

Famagusta, N. Cyprus


  9 500

Sevastopol, SSFP

Transshipment raid, Kerch Strait and Tortuga, later unknown

Grain from Sevastopol

82 000




  2 500

Kerch, KSFP



  7 200

Kerch, KSFP



  2 900

Kerch, KSFP



  2 000

Kerch, KSFP



  5 400

Kerch, KSFP


Grain from Kerch

20 000



Grain total

102 800



Calcined soda

  2 000

Sevastopol SSFP

Damietta, Egypt

  2 000


Damietta, Egypt

Soda total

  4 000



Liquefied gas

  4 000



  4 000



Gas total

  8 000



Scrap metal

  3 000

Sevastopol SMMP

Durres, Albania






117 800



The complete list can be found here: November 2017 Export Cargo from the Occupied Crimean Ports 

* * *

The monitoring of the violations of the international sanctions against Russia and the legal regime of the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea is supported by the European Program Initiative of the Renaissance International Foundation. The position of Renaissance International Foundation may not reflect the opinion of the authors.

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