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Container lines returning European food exports destined for Russia

Container lines returning European food exports destined for Russia
Maersk Line is reported to have a “significant amount” of fresh produce bound for Russia which now needs to be returned to Europe after the import of a wide variety of food product was banned.

A report by Reuters quoted a newsletter from shippers, and said Maersk did not quantify how much cargo had been affected. Russia imposed the ban overnight earlier this month in retaliation for Europe sanctions on against Russia over the Ukraine.

"Maersk Line customers were completely unprepared for these sanctions and since they had effect immediately, a significant amount of cargo at sea needs to be returned," the report quoted a note from Maersk as saying.

Notices to customers from other major lines issued on 11 August also showed they were expecting issues with containers that were already being shipped to Russia when the ban was put in place.

APL said: “In cases where banned cargo is presently on the water to Russia, it must either be redirected to other non-sanctioned ports or returned to origin and cost of redirecting cargo is for shipper’s account.”

While Hapag-Lloyd stated: “Containers that have already been loaded on our vessels towards Russia and which fall in the definition scope of this ban, will be returned to/discharged at the respective transhipment port, awaiting your instructions.”