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2020: The worries and hopes of the Black Sea cruise industry

According to all forecasts, after an almost three-year absence of ‘white ships’, 2020 was supposed to be a breakthrough in cruise shipping of the Black Sea region and, in particular, Odesa port. Preliminary applications shows that Odesa port expected 11 calls of cruise liners. However, the coronavirus pandemic has made adjustments. The first vessel MS Albatros owned by the German company Phoenix Reisen, which was supposed to call at the port of Odesa on May 4, canceled the ship call. The company suspended all operations until May 11 of this year. The second cruise company Aegean Experience Maritime Company, whose ship Aegean Odyssey planned to visit Odesa port on May 10, has to suspend all routes until the end of May.


The cruise industry is very sensitive to any political and geopolitical changes. But, no one expected the world to be gripped by a terrible infection. The cruise business was one of the first to react to this. The current situation began with a drop in demand for all types of vouchers, revision of routes by cruise companies: ship calls to the Asian region, then to Italian ports were excluded. But, these measures were not enough soon, and then the massive closure of the cruise lines began.


The Princess Cruises company was one of the first to suffer, which had to quarantine 2 vessels: the Diamond Princess liner anchored in Japan for more than 2 weeks. The whole world was anxiously watching this vessel. Then the second vessel, Grand Princess was on demurrage at the coast of California, when the first cases were revealed on board.


The Princess Cruises immediately took measures and, since March 12, completely stopped all routes for 2 months. A similar tactic was applied by other world cruise market players. For example, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara have ceased operations worldwide since March 13th. These world-famous cruise companies plan to resume operations on May 12, 2020. Costa Cruises cease operations around the world until April 30. Fred Olsen Cruise Line stopped all ocean cruises until May 23. Silversea Cruises plans to return no earlier than May 13; TUI Cruises canceled all cruises until May 3.


Definitely, this whole difficult situation effected the cruise business in the countries of the Black Sea region. Strict quarantine measures have been introduced at every port to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.


‘For the restore of cruise shipping on the Black Sea, in 2018-2019, Odesa Sea Port Authority conducted a tremendous amount of work. In 2018, during the 52nd General Assembly of the MedCruise Association, the OB SE ‘USPA’ initiated the creation of the Black Sea working group, which included the ports of Constanta (Romania), Varna and Burgas (Bulgaria); a joint action plan was signed, and in October 2018, the first meeting of the Black Sea Working Group was held in Odesa. Representatives of the port authority took an active part in subsequent meetings of the working group, international exhibitions of the cruise industry Seatrade, meetings of the General Assembly; many complex negotiations were held with leading players of the cruise business etc. Unfortunately, all our efforts were crossed by the coronavirus that hit the world’, Ruslan Sakhautdinov, General Manager of Odesa Sea Port Authority said.


General Manager further noted that the nearest neighbors of Odesa also got refusals for cruise ship calls to ports. So, along with Odesa Romanian port of Constanta received cancellation of cruise ship calls in May this year. The port of Varna, which was preparing to receive Aegean Odyssey in May, also became a hostage of the circumstances. The Bulgarian port expects the next calls in July. Burgas will host the only cruise ship in October. In its turn, Istanbul, which was preparing to open the largest Galataport cruise terminal on the Black Sea coast in April, plans to postpone the launch of the project. In total, the new terminal of Turkey planned to be visited by 61 cruise ships. However, their number is gradually decreasing.


To conclude on a positive note, it should be said that the German company Phoenix Reisen plans two more calls of the MS Amera ship on June 11 and September 9. We hope that these calls will take place. Besides, MS Amera was the first sign that visited the port of Odesa on October 30, 2019, after almost two years of international cruise ships absence. In addition, there is hope that on October 15, the ship Aegean Odyssey will visit the port of Odesa. Other declared vessels are expected to call at the Odesa port in July-October.


Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority



Container Terminal Odessa: more than 20 million euros investments, expansion of space, technical re-equipment and a new free web service

On February 16, the SYMPHONIY SEA vessel, which arrived from the port of Fenit (Ireland), moored at berth No. 2-k of the Quarantine pier. It delivered 4 rubber-tyred RTG container cranes to Odesa port manufactured by LIEBHERR for the SE Container Terminal Odessa (CTO).


The cranes arrived disassembled, and after installation will be set up at the new warehouse area of the Quarantine pier, which is part of the 4th start-up complex. The complex, which construction began in 2018, will be equipped with six strips for storage and handling of containers with RTG rear loading cranes. The 4th launch complex is planned to be commissioned this autumn.


‘The investments for the purchase of new equipment amounted to more than 6 million euros. The need for these investments is due to the annual growth in the volume of container handling achieved by our company. The new LIEBHERR cranes have a number of technical advantages aimed at lowering operating costs, as well as being more environmentally sound due to more modern engines. This year we are acquiring two new reach stackers and a forklift’, Anastas Kokkin, general director of the subsidiary ‘CTO’ said.


According to Svetlana Yarovaia, the vice president of socio-political relations, ambassador of the municipality of Hamburg in Ukraine, the parent company HHLA has invested in its development and technical equipment since the beginning of the establishment of the stevedoring company in Odesa port.


‘For 19 years during which our company operates in Odesa port, the management of the HHLA Holding has done everything to ensure that CTO subsidiary is the leader of the Ukrainian container market. Total investments in development amounted to more than 170 million euros. The lion's share of this investment goes to the Quarantine mole project, which will ultimately fulfill our long-held dream of transshipping more than 1 million TEU annually. Our company shows how German investments work on the image of Odesa port and help strengthen the Ukrainian economy. This is a signal for potential investors that investing in our country is beneficial’, S. Yarovaya noted.


‘The SE ‘CTO’ is one of the long-standing and reliable partners of the Odesa port,’ Ruslan Sakhautdinov, General Manager of the OB SE ‘USPA’ said. ‘Our cooperation is important in any aspect. First of all, cooperation, built on a mutually beneficial basis, is fastened together by the joint implementation of Quarantine pier, one of the largest projects in the maritime industry of Ukraine. The company does not only fulfills its investment obligations but also constantly introduces the latest technologies, including IT-technologies. As a result, the investments made in the development of the SE ‘CTO’ are a real contribution to the Ukrainian economy. Replenishing the machinery park, the company increases the intensity of fleet processing and contributes to the growth of port cargo turnover. Consequently, revenues and deductions to the state budget will increase.


Being the leader of the Ukrainian container market, the SE ‘CTO’ is constantly increasing the transshipment of containers and other general cargoes. According to Igor Yarovenko, Executive Director for Commerce, for the first month of 2020, the team processed 34.023 thousand TEU, which is 25% more than in January 2019.


‘The company is constantly developing, getting technically equipped, introducing the most modern technologies. Since February 18, SE ‘CTO’ together with Odesa Sea Port Authority has been providing its customers with a new free service. For a phased transition to electronic document flow, we are introducing a high-tech web portal that provides for the preparation of electronic documents in advance for entry into the territory of Odesa port and an acceptance certificate for importing the container to the terminal. the innovation will already optimize the workflow and reduce the time for issuing motor transport with export and empty containers that go to the terminal of the SE ‘CTO’ at this stage’, I. Yarovenko informed.




CMA CGM URAL crew is healthy, the vessel is processed ordinarily (official statement of the sanitary-quarantine department (SQD) of Odesa port)

On February 13, the container ship CMA CGM URAL (Malta flag) moored to berth No.42 of Odesa port. There were many publications of an alarming nature in the electronic media before her call to the port. Like, the vessel that had called to Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen and other Chinese ports before the coronavirus epidemic 2019-nCoV outbreak comprises sick crew members.


According to Oksana Borisenko, head of the sanitary-quarantine department of Odesa port, having studied this information, the experts handed it over to the National Coordinator for International Health Regulations, which is the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. The SQD also began to prepare for accepting the vessel.


‘When the vessel was only approaching the Suez Canal, we contacted Alexander Shchokin, CMA CGM Ukraine CEO’, said O. Borisenko. ‘He provided us with the necessary information and supporting copies of the documents of foreign ports' sanitary authorities on the route of the vessel. In particular, the CMA CGM URAL container ship, which began its route in mid-January with calls to several Chinese ports, came to the ports of Egypt (Port Said), Lebanon (Beirut, Tripoli), Turkey (Izmit, Ambari), to Romanian Constanta, and she was given free pratique everywhere.


‘A month ago, on January 13, the container ship entered the last Chinese port of Xeamin’, A. Shchokin commented. ‘We have been monitoring the situation aboard throughout the month. It is important for us that in ports such as Istanbul, Izmit (Turkey), Tripoli (Lebanon), the sanitary services noted that the crew was healthy. Yesterday (February 12), when the vessel was being processed in Constanta (Romania), we received information that there were no patients on board. Today we submitted the sanitary bulletin to Odesa port's SQD, which clearly states that the crew is healthy.


At the moment, the container ship is moored at berth No.42. After inspection by epidemiologists and confirmation that all crew members are healthy, processing of CMA CGM URAL, with a 9400 TEU capacity, has begun. 2665 TEU for unloading and 3286 TEU for loading are scheduled.


We remind that since 24.01.2020 the order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No. 185 has come into force, providing for an enhanced regime of operation of special sanitary-quarantine services in international maritime checkpoints across the state border of Ukraine. Epidemiologists are the first to ascend the vessel, inspect the crew, and only after that, the vessel is granted ‘free pratique’. Moreover, the Ukrainian side receives information on the status of the crew in advance - for a day, or even for two. Depending on the information received from the maritime agent, port epidemiologists, taking into account all possible risks, apply appropriate personal protective equipment. SKO doctors are provided with the necessary protective suits, respirators, masks, panoramic masks, goggles, gloves.


Odesa Sea Port Authority








As of 06.02.2020, epidemiologists of the sanitary-quarantine department of Odesa port provided a medical (sanitary) examination of crew members of 25 sea vessels shipping worldwide


Last night, COSCO SHIPPING SEINE (L = 299.9 m, flag - Hong Kong), the container ship moored at berth No. 42 in Khlebnaya harbor. The vessel arrived in Odesa after entering the ports of China during the incubation period of the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Right after mooring, a medical (sanitary) examination of all crew members of the container ship and other preventive measures were carried out, in accordance with Order of the Ministry of Health dated January 24, 2020, No. 185, which provides for an enhanced operation mode of special sanitary-quarantine departments at international sea checkpoints (entries) across the state border of Ukraine.


Since this document`s requirements have come into force, a medical examination of crews in Odesa port has already been carried out on 25 vessels. Among these, 5 came from China, including 4, which left the ports of the Celestial Empire before the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan.


The epidemiological well-being of seafarers on vessels at the berths of domestic ports is controlled by specialists of the sanitary-quarantine departments (SQD) of the State Institution ‘Laboratory Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on Water Transport’. Since the end of January this year, workers of SQD have been boarding almost all vessels calling at Odesa port, regardless a region of the World Ocean they arrived from.


‘We are forced to switch to almost 100 percent crew control, taking into account the specifics of the seafarers` work,’ Nina Starova, an epidemiologist with 35 years of experience, says. ‘Importation has been recorded in 26 countries. Even if the seafarers have not visited China recently, we don’t know which flight he flew to the next crew change, who he contacted on the plane ...


According to N. Starova, the procedure for the epidemiologist to prevent the importation of coronavirus 2019-nCoV through the international sea checkpoint into Ukraine includes two stages. At the first stage, medical documents are examined using the risk-based method before a vessel arrives at the port. Documents are provided by the captain through a maritime agent in the Port Information Community System. At the second stage, onboard the vessel, the captain presents the Maritime Health Declaration and the originals of the medical documents. Using a non-contact infrared thermometer, the specialists of the sanitary-quarantine department conduct temperature screening and get acquainted with the survey results of each crew member (the proforma of the questionnaire is sent to the captain in advance).


Only making sure that there is no epidemic threat on board the vessel, an SQD specialist gives the right to ‘free practice’ at the port of arrival and allows representatives of regulatory authorities (border guards, customs officers) to board the vessel and continue the border opening procedure.


‘If a patient is identified, an operational plan of anti-epidemic measures will immediately be put into operation on the vessel, Oksana Borisenko, head of the sanitary-quarantine department of Odesa sea port, says. - In this case, the patient with suspected coronavirus will be isolated in the vessel's isolation ward, or the port's isolation ward, followed by hospitalization at the onshore hospital base, and the vessel itself will be quarantined with appropriate medical measures.


In the context of implementing measures to prevent importation and spread to Ukraine of coronavirus through a sea checkpoint, O. Borisenko noted the operational actions of Odesa port Authority (R. Sakhautdinov, General Manager) in preparing a quarantine berth and premises for temporary isolation of persons with suspected diagnosis 2019-nCoV.


Besides, the head of SQD spoke about the availability of the necessary equipment, personal protective equipment and practical skills if infected people are identified. The department holds regular training of anti-epidemic teams every year in April. In October 2014, due to the threat of the Ebola virus spread, large international exercises were held at the port of Odesa.


Odesa Sea Port Authority










Odesa Sea Port Authority has created all the conditions for container terminals` operators to ensure paperless clearance of motor transport

Since 2013, Odesa port has carried out systematic work to simplify the internal procedures for issuing documents for entry / exit of motor transport to / from the territory of cargo terminals using digital technologies. As previously reported, in January 2020, in the framework of this program, a forwarder service was introduced for sending electronic passes in the form of bar codes directly to the driver on a mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.). Thus, today, forwarding companies are able to independently issue a pass and give it to the driver without contacting the employees of the port Authority accounting group - exclusively in electronic form, without paper media.


Besides, to enter directly to the terminals, forwarders still have to contact the employees of accounting groups of terminal operator companies with the appropriate package of documents for issuing delivery and expenditure orders in paper form, certified by a seal. Due to this, in order to save his own time, the forwarder provides the driver with the necessary set of documents most often in the daytime. Then, the driver contacts the accounting group to receive the terminal documents.


Also, instead of resting in specially equipped premises, drivers are forced to stand in line for paper documents issuing, that may negatively affect their well-being and, accordingly, road safety.


Currently, the SE ‘Container Terminal Odesa’ (CTO) is already taking measures to optimize the design of terminal documentation and transferring it into electronic form. In the future, this will allow the forwarder to draw up delivery and account orders remotely from the workplace on their own. Submitting documents to the driver electronically will significantly reduce the waiting time. According to CTO, the specified service in test mode will be available to forwarding companies soon.


In view of the above, the management of the Odesa branch of the State Enterprise ‘Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’ invokes on container terminals` operators to join the initiatives of the President of Ukraine and the Government in the field of digital transformation of relations between public and private sectors of the economy, and to expedite the implementation of pass electronic clearance services for trucks.


Odesa Sea Port Authority


Celebrations dedicated to the graduation of naval officers took place on the territory of Odesa port

On February 1, a great ceremony for the graduation of young officers who completed study at the Institute of the Naval Forces of the National University of Odesa Maritime Academy took place on the territory and berths of the Passenger terminal of Odesa port. The celebrations were attended by Admiral Igor Voronchenko, the naval commander, high-ranking military personnel, representatives of the regional and city leaders, and the State Enterprise ‘Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’, including Odesa Sea Port Authority. Relatives of graduates are among the guests of honor.


During the celebration, ships of the Navy Forces of Ukraine were moored at the berths of the Passenger terminal, where part of the graduates will serve.


According to maritime tradition, young lieutenants received diplomas of education, shoulder marks and daggers as a symbol of full entry into the officer corps of the fleet. The ceremony included farewell to the flag of university, and the marching in review of graduates.


Odesa Sea Port Authority











Odesa port discussed an anti-epidemic measures plan in the event of the coronavirus spread

On January 30, a meeting was held at the main office of the Odesa branch of the State Enterprise ‘Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’ (the OB SE ‘USPA’) on issues related to the spread of the new coronavirus in Wuhan, a Chinese province. The event was attended by specialists from the State Supervision of Sanitary Law Compliance Department of the Main Directorate of State Food and Beverage Service in the Odesa region, led by Lidia Stepanova, head of the department, Zhanna Putienko, chief physician of the medical department of Odesa Sea Port Authority, and heads of departments of the SE ‘USPA’.


At the meeting, Odesa port and other domestic sea ports and airports were noted to belong to the category of objects of possible contact with carriers of hazardous viruses that arrive in Ukraine. In this regard, the heads of the port Authority`s departments and services were provided with recommendations on the rules of conduct and a set of special measures to prevent the coronavirus spread.


Due to the possible spread of coronavirus, issues of coordinating the actions of port Authority with the bodies of the State Food and Beverage Service, and other sanitary and medical institutions of the city in the event of the aggravation of the sanitary and epidemiological situation in Ukraine were also discussed. In particular, it concerned the need for joint exercises with modeling the work of the state border checkpoint for vessels arriving at the port from countries of potential risk.


Odesa Sea Port Authority






In its current form, the state enterprise ‘Odesa Port’ has existed since June 2013. In accordance with the Law of Ukraine on Seaports, which required the separation of administrative and economic functions, strategic facilities and structures of the SE ‘Odesa Sea Commercial Port’ were allocated and included as a branch into the SE ‘USPA’6 years ago. All facilities and services, with the exception of those transferred, constitute the state enterprise ‘Odesa Port’.


The enterprise is directly subordinate to the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine. The area of responsibility is the disposal of real estate facilities, storage areas and transportation and towage services, as well as the provision of repair and maintenance services for the fleet and handling equipment.


The SE ‘Odesa Port’ divides into the following main departments: - Port fleet, mechanization and technology service, separate business unit 'Shipyard ‘Ukraine’, non-self-propelled workshop (PSM-650), motor depot, training center, sports complex.


The following non-core objects are also on the balance of the SE ‘Odesa Port’: Museum of the Ukrainian Navy, part of the Odessa hotel complex, Poseidon water park in Chabanka, two children's camps: Young Sailor and Young Ship Repairman, diagnostic and treatment unit Chabanka.


More details on the enterprise website:






Azerbaijan delegation led by Perviz Shahbazov, the Minister of Energy visited Odesa port

ODESA, January 29, 2020, 17:00, the OB (Odesa branch) of SE ‘USPA’

The Law ‘On Concessions’ adopted by the Parliament and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine perspective vision of the prospects for the domestic sea ports development with an emphasis on the concession mechanism open up new opportunities for foreign investors who cooperates with Odesa port. This was discussed at the inception visit of the Azerbaijan delegation led by Mr. Perviz Shahbazov, the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the port.


The delegation included representatives of a number of state companies and business structures of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Ukrainian side was represented by Dmytro Abramovych, First Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, top officials and heads of departments of the State Enterprise ‘Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’ (the SE ‘USPA’). The delegation of Azerbaijan Republic visited the port of Odesa as part of the program of the Twelfth Meeting of the Azerbaijan-Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, which will be held the day after tomorrow, January 31, in Kyiv.


At the meeting, Ruslan Sakhautdinov, General Manager of Odesa port Authority introduced honored guests the production infrastructure of Odesa port and the possibilities for handling of additional dry and bulk cargo volumes. A separate section in his presentation was dedicated to the passenger terminal of the port, which the Ministry of Infrastructure and the main office of the SE ‘USPA’ currently consider as one of the potential objects for transfer to the investors` management on the concession basis.


‘The passenger terminal of the port is capable of accepting and servicing the largest cruise ships that call to the Black Sea and is designed to serve 4 million tourists a year’, said R. Sakhautdinov. - Recently, we have noted the real interest of the state in modernizing the main cruise terminal of the Black Sea region, bringing it to the same level with the most modern European passenger ports. Therein, the relevant indicator for all of us is the implementation of the project for the Istanbul passenger terminal reconstruction...


According to General Manager of the port Authority, Odesa port workers got real support for their initiatives on the tourist cruise infrastructure development both at the level of the regional and city authorities and at the level of the relevant ministry. And this makes it possible to substantively negotiate with potential investors.


During the visit to Odesa port, Mr. Perviz Shahbazov and other members of the Azerbaijan delegation visited a number of facilities at the port’s passenger terminal, in particular the Hotel «Odesa». The story of the origin of a five-star hotel at the New mole of Odesa Sea Commercial Port in 2001 and the circumstances of its closure in 2011 was introduced by Olexiy Miaskovskiy, Head of the state-owned enterprise Odesa Port, who has the facility on balance. A. Miaskovskiy also informed about the legal status of the hotel, cited data on the current technical condition of the building and announced the approximate amount of investment needed to restore the hotel.


Dmytro Romenskiy and Sergiy Gronskiy, Deputy Chairmen of the SE ‘USPA’ on the port infrastructure development and maritime and internal security, as well as Dmitro Podorian - Director of the main office of the SE ‘USPA’ also took part in the discussion of the prospects for investment development of the Odesa port passenger terminal.


As reported previously, January 22, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine proposed attractive initiatives for investors who would invest in Ukraine. Among other issues, he announced the possibility of providing tax holidays and a personal “guardian” from the government of Ukraine under certain conditions.


We should also recall that in December, last year, after announcing winners in concession tenders at the ports of Olbia and the Kherson Sea Port, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine announced its plans to attract a concession tool for the modernization of other enterprises in the maritime industry. According to Minister Vladyslav Krykliy, in order to prepare for the concession in 2020, the sea ports of Mariupol, Berdyansk, Chernomorsk, as well as certain facilities in Odesa port were preliminarily selected.






MILLION TONS LAST YEAR - CONTI-HORIZON LINE increases metal cargo flow through Odesa port in the direction of the countries of the African continent

According to the main dispatching office of the Odesa branch of the State Enterprise ‘Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’ (the OB SE ‘USPA’), 4.6 million tons of metal products were transshipped through the port berths last year. Every fifth ton of this volume was shipped to the countries of the west and south-west coast of Africa by the vessels of the overseas line, CONTI-HORIZON LINE.


The Ukrainian company UNITED MARIN GROUP LLC coordinates the schedule for servicing the fleet of the specified line at Odesa port and ensures the readiness of consignments of various customers. According to Ekaterina Kokhanova, deputy head of the company, due to the rapid population growth and also high rates of urbanization, sub-Saharan Africa continues to be one of the most promising market outlets for Ukrainian rolled metal products.


‘Compared with 2018, our partners increased the volume of metal products transported from Odesa port to the African countries over the past year by 15 percent: from 840 thousand tons to 1.010 million tons’, says E. Kokhanova. ‘Of course, this success is largely due to the speed and quality of ship handling at the port terminals.That is why Odesa has been the base port on the Black Sea for the CONTI-HORIZON LINE for more than 10 years. It is here that the formation of metal products consignments of Ukrainian production, as well as transit from Belarus and Moldova for shipment to the ports of Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin, Ghana, and other countries ...’


As the head of UNITED MARIN GROUP LLC further noted, as for now, metal products of domestic producers ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih PJSC, Azovstal smelter, Ilyich Mariupol smelter, Zaporizhstal PJSC, and DMK PJSC Belarusian Metallurgical Plant JSC are shipped through Odesa port to the African direction. Products of these plants are shipped through berths operated by the stevedoring companies Novoteh Terminal LLC, Novolog LLC, Metalsukrain Corp. Ltd. LLC and UNSC LLC. Last year, vessels of the CONTI-HORIZON LINE moored in Odesa port 34 times (in 2018, 31). Two calls were conducted in January, this year.


Reference. Founded in 1923, Conti-Lines (headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium) has become a cornerstone of a powerful group that occupies one of the leading positions in the structure of global shipping. Currently, Conti-Lines offers its customers and partners 9 regular lines and a dense network of routes covering all parts of the world except Australia. This allows us to rightfully call it a global line operator.



FOR WORK IN COMBAT ASSAULT, STORM AND EMERGENCY CONDITIONS: US representatives handed over a batch of special equipment to the personnel of the Maritime Border Guard of the SBGSU in the port of Odesa

On January 24, the official ceremony of handing over specialized equipment to the Sea Guard of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine took place at the berth #16 of Odesa port (passenger terminal). The property was received from the United States as part of an international project entitled ‘Providing technical assistance to strengthen the export control system of Ukraine and counteract the proliferation of spread of mass destruction weapon’


The event was held with the participation of Colonel Sergey Deyneko, Chairman of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Mrs. Christina Quinn, US Chargé d'Affaires a.i. in Ukraine, and Matthew Goldin, Manager of EXBS Program of the US State Department. Among the participants in the official ceremony, there were Dmitry Podorian, Director of the Main Representative Office of the State Enterprise ‘Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’ and Ruslan Sakhautdinov, General Manager of Odesa Sea Port Authority.


Opening the ceremony, the chairman of the State Border Service expressed sincere gratitude to the United States for their assistance and praised the effectiveness of cooperation between the border guards of Ukraine and the US Coast Guard.


‘Strengthening the Maritime Border Guard of Ukraine is an urgent condition for ensuring the safety of navigation in the region. The United States will continue to make efforts to develop the infrastructure of Ukrainian border guards’ said Ms. Christina Quinn.


The US Chargé d'Affaires a.i. in Ukraine personally handed over the certificates for the transferred property to the commanders of the Odesa, Izmail, Mariupol Maritime Border Guard units and the head of the Maritime Border Guard Training Center.


The ceremony ended with a presentation of samples of the property received for guests and journalists.


The total cost of equipment received as part of international technical assistance is about 29 million UAH. This is more than 3 thousand units of rescue and inspection equipment for crews of patrol ships and boat fleet and fighters of special actions departments. The equipment will enhance the capabilities of the three units mentioned, and will also be used in the training process at the training center.


The equipment, which has more than two dozen names, includes wrist GPS-navigators, portable gas analyzers of the air condition, inspection mirrors, means of providing communication between members of the inspection group and various lighting devices for rooms and places of possible hiding places from personal tactical lights to searchlight-type flashlights, which are capable to illuminate large rooms, such as holds and containers, fire lamps, and among other enhanced characteristics, have backlighting, which allows the inspection or rescue team to better navigate in difficult conditions. A unique device is the self-rescuer of the insulating type OCENCO M-20.2, designed to protect the respiratory organs (up to 15 minutes) of crews of ships (boats) during evacuation from a smoke-filled room.


Now, all combat posts on ships and boats of the Maritime Border Guard will be equipped with the listed instruments. Similar devices are in service of the US Coast Guard units.


Another urgent thing for the special units and inspection groups of the patrol ship and boat fleet is a lightweight body armor with a buoyancy compensator and with an integrated inflatable system. Such body armor provides against firearms and a fighter’s positive buoyancy in the water.


Besides, the entire crew and special forces soldiers will receive two types of special protective suits: equipment for protection during disembarkation and work in stormy weather and thermal suits designed to protect from hypothermia in the event of an emergency. Such a suit complies with the SOLAS Convention and allows staying in the water at sub-zero air temperatures up to 15 minutes (respectively, at a higher temperature the period increases to 12 hours).


The list of property for delivery was compiled based on a study of the real needs and tasks faced by the Maritime Border Guard personnel in daily inspection work, and in assault, storm, and emergency conditions. The expediency and experience of using equipment by foreign colleagues are taken into account.