After the US imposed sanctions on subsidiaries of Cosco, European refiners have received an unexpected boost, as less crude oil from the North Sea and West Africa heads east, Reuters reports. What is more freight rates have risen as oil producers seek non-blacklisted vessels.
A supertanker by COSCO Shipping Tankers has received a temporary waiver from US sanctions. The ship is now able to discharge crude oil cargoes. In fact, the VLCC Coswisdom Lake, which discharged some crude in Singapore last week, offloaded the rest of its oil at Brunei on October 16, Reuters said citing shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.
The White House alerts Chinese shipping companies of not turning off their AIS, hiding Iranian oil shipments in violation of US sanctions, Reuters reports, while vessels navigating with their AIS shut down could be a danger to the overall navigation, posing a great threat to the other vessels sailing around them.
Mr. George A. Gaitas, Attorney and Partner, Gaitas & Chalos, P.C, shares his predictions regarding what owners should expect in the US in the enforcement of MARPOL Annex VI regulations after Jan 1st of 2020 and, specifically, whether the US will widely implement criminal sanctions as it has done with enforcement of Annex I.
Reuters reports that approximately 300 oil tankers have been excluded form the shipping market because the shipping sector is afraid of breaching the US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, even by accident. The 3% of the worldwide oil tanker fleet is out of the shipping market resulting to rates soaring to secure tankers to ship oil, particularly to Asia.
The recent developments see OFAC, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, imposing sanctions on COSCO tankers and certain entities and individuals for transferring Iranian oil, which is against the US rules. Thus, OFAC has further explained who these sanctions impact and how the shipping industry is affected.
Reuters reports that almost a third of the tankers owned by COSCO Shipping Tanker have shut off their AIS systems after the U.S. imposed sanctions on the company for reportedly shipping Iranian crude. In the first week of October, a total of 14 COSCO Dalian ships, including nine VLCCs, have shut off their ship-tracking transponders and have stopped sending location data from their automatic identification system.
The North Korean bulk carrier ‘Wise Honest’, which was detained for over five months in the port of Pago Pago, American Samoa, eventually departed under tow on Monday, bound for demolition, less than three months after the US revealed intentions to sell the seized vessel, following order by a federal court.
A Novatek official reported to Reuters that Novatek, the Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer is looking to tranship its Yamal cargoes in Norway or Russia’s Murmansk, as the company is still unsure of its shipping activities, following the US’s sanctions on the Chinese COSCO tankers.
Following OFAC’s decision on issuing sanctions against COSCO companies, many were those affected, as well as the US-listed Teekay Group that has been qualified as a ‘blocked person’.
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