In view of the attacks of Yemeni Houthi against ships crossing the Straits of Bab-el-Madeb, the adoption of additional provisional specific security measures was deemed appropriate for the protection of Cyprus ships.

The Shipping Deputy Ministry of Cyprus has issued an information circular to inform the shipping industry about the temporary measures taken.

As a result, a relevant decree was issued which entered into force on 23 December 2023, and will remain in force for three months, which expands high-risk areas in order to cover the areas of rebel attacks, Shipping Deputy Minister Marina Hadjimanolis told CNA on Wednesday.

According to the Shipping Deputy Minister Marina Hadjimanolis, after these attacks and the threat to the safety of ships, major shipping giants decided to change the routes of their ships and suspend cargo transport in the region, resulting in damage to the global economy and global trade.

Ms. Hadjimanolis said the extra costs are mainly due to the fact that merchant ships use longer routes, lengthening the required travel time, adding delays, since they are now forced to circumnavigate Africa to avoid the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, the shortest sea route from Asia to Europe, because of the threat from the Houthis.

“This 6,000-mile detour leads to delays of up to 2 weeks in the arrival of vessels in the Mediterranean,” she pointed out.

She also said that the extension of the travel period of ships that change route has an impact on the environment, since there is greater fuel consumption and a greater number of emissions, while she noted that, as a result of the attacks and the increased risk that has been created for the safety of ships, there is a significant increase in the cost of insuring ships passing through this area.