How the conflict in Israel can impact maritime security and trade

 On Saturday morning, the Hamas militant group launched a surprise attack against Israel, prompting a swift response from the country. The ensuing conflict has now escalated, raising concerns about human life as well as multiple sectors, including the maritime industry.

Analysts have indicated that the possible decrease in revenues for exporters is not anticipated to have a substantial effect on trade volumes, unless there is a further escalation of the war. Nevertheless, escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East could have a substantial influence on the cost of oil.

The situation with Indian exports

India’s exports to Israel were $8.4 billion this year, demonstrating a solid bilateral economic relationship. Diesel, cut and unpolished diamonds, and electronics and telecom components such as integrated circuits and solar cell parts were among the main exports.

Imports from Israel, on the other hand, totaled $2.3 billion, with raw diamonds, fertilisers, and herbicides dominating. This trade dynamic emphasises the wide variety of items traded between the two countries.

However, according to the Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), India’s Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) is contemplating charging higher risk premiums on Indian firms exporting to Israel.

Security threat for vessels 

The conflict could also impose a severe maritime security risk in the area, with sources already claiming that vessels are changing their routes after being advised to do so.

Port operations 

NorthStandard P&I Club correspondent, Harpaz P&I, reports the latest situation in the area as follows:

  • The port of Ashdod is currently operating in “emergency mode” status.
  • The port of Haifa which also include the Haifa Bay port and Israel shipyard port is operating as usual.
  • The port of Ashkelon (used mostly by tankers) is not operating.
  • The port of Hadera (mostly used by bulk carriers) is operating as usual.
  • The Israeli Navy control all the sea traffic in all areas around and near the port of Ashdod and Ashkelon.

Hazardous materials warning 

Furthermore, according to Harpaz P&I, a message was issued on 7/10/23 by Ashdod port authorities which relate to vessel’s carried hazardous material (HAZMAT) which stated the following:

Following an announcement about “special situation in the hinterland” in the geographical area in which Ashdod Port is included, the Ministry of Transportation has directed the port to regulate the entry of vessels according to the hereby procedure:

  • Entry of vessels carrying Hazardous Materials (“HAZMAT”) of any kind into Ashdod Port, is subject to a prior approval of Israel’s Administration of Shipping and Ports.
  • Please note that according to the directives of the Home Front Command, entry of vessels carrying HAZMAT of class classification groups: 1, 2.1, 2.3, as well as substances in this list, will not be allowed.
  • Shipping agents are required to send detailed list of all HAZMAT of any type on vessels scheduled to arrive at the port of Ashdod, 48 hours prior its arrival at the port. The above applies to both container ships and general and bulk cargo ships.
  • The list should include 3 reports: import, export and transit of HAZMAT.
  • The list must be sent to the control room of the TOS unit, by email: The interested party must verify the receiving of the list at the TOS unit, at phone +972-8-8517103/247.
  • Failure to transfer the list on time may cause a delay in the vessel’s entry into the port.
  • The Shipping Agents are required to be in contact with port’s planning unit, in order to receive information about the approval of vessels to call the port.
  • The application of this instruction is immediate until further notice.



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