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Maritime Law Consultant and Legal Practitioner, Dr. Emmanuel Kofi Mbiah has spelled doom for the global supply chain if the Russia-Ukraine war lingers on for a long time.


According to him, the repercussions of the war on shipping is already being felt.

The Maritime Lawyer said, “the war does not look good for trade. The little we are seeing in the stifling of global supply chains is only the beginning. Look at the price of oil example. All of a sudden, we have gone to $139 a barrel. The impact is significant. It has affected almost every sphere of life. If you take energy, Europe relies on Russia for about 40% of its gas supplies. Obviously, this is bound to have a telling effect on their economies.”

Dr. Mbiah said not only will oil and gas supplies be severely affected, but food supplies would suffer due to the Russia-Ukraine area providing a large chunk of the world’s grain requirements.

The maritime expert said the trickle-down effect of disruptions caused by the war is inevitable, and African countries won’t be spared.

Dr. Mbiah a former Chairman of the Legal Committee at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), explained that “a lot of the countries in the world are not well-to-do and are coming out of COVID 19. Just at the time they are coming out of COVID, and trying to get the supply chains working again, this war has come.”

He added that, “Russia and Ukraine supply 30% of the world’s wheat requirements. Ukraine is about the world’s 4th largest exporter of corn and about the 5th largest exporter of wheat. So, it is quite clear that when it comes to grains, they are very valuable. The two countries do almost 70% of the world’s sunflower seed used for cooking oils for example.”

Dr. Mbiah said, “you would think you are far away so the impact is not on you, but you would realize the imports especially processed foods is going to be expensive. Fuel prices have gone up, bunkers have increased prices and freight rates will go through the roof.”  

He revealed that currently, the Black Sea-Azov area has become an unsafe route, trapping 140 merchant ships.

He also disclosed that some commercial vessels have ended up as collateral damage with them being victims of missile strikes.

Dr. Kofi Mbiah revealed that in the meantime, the International Maritime Organization has put in place some measures to mitigate the effects of the war on seafarers.

The former Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority said, “the IMO Council met on the 10th of March to condemn the actions of Russia and considered a number of actions. They identified that seafarers had to be given the key player status to enable them to enjoy certain privileges and protection. It has called for the opening blue safe zones for their passage in areas where sea mines could be. Also, IMO has called on IMO members to give support to Ukraine to exercise their port state and flag state controls.” 

(The Daily Searchlight appears every day on the newsstands and for sale 24 hours every day and all week on www.ghananewsstand.com. Visit www.ghananewsstand.com for a wide variety of newspapers published in Ghana and from across the world.)

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