The Department of Transport has issued a directive to all Irish ports and harbour masters to deny entry to Russian-registered vessels from next Sunday.

This means that all ships, yachts and recreational craft registered under the flag of Russia, and any such vessel that has changed the registration of the vessel from the flag of Russia to another state since 24 February, will be prohibited from docking at Irish ports.

Russia invaded its neighbour Ukraine on 24 February.

The announcement is actioning the recent EU decision to sanction Russian vessels and to restrict access to ports in European member states for those vessels.

The directive provides for a number of exceptions whereby Russian-registered vessels would be allowed to dock. They include the transport of coal, natural gas, oil and refined petroleum products, pharmaceutical, medical and agricultural products, humanitarian purposes and emergency safety situations.

Before any vessel is admitted to port under permitted exceptional circumstances, the port must first contact the Department of Transport for a determination on whether a vessel should be allowed entry.

The restrictions on Russian shipping into EU ports is part of the fifth package of sanctions of the EU against Russia over its ongoing attacks on Ukraine and takes affect across the EU from Sunday.