In November 2018, the US government issued Significant Reduction Exemptions (SREs) waivers to eight countries that were committed to decreasing the purchase of Iranian oil; China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.
With respect to the recent surge in sanctions globally, Mrs. Irene Anastassiou, Senior Lawyer at the Gard P&I Club, noted that the practice of turning off the AIS to avoid detection is a breach of SOLAS and Flag State requirements, while it increases the risk of maritime casualties and loss of life.
Amid the imposition of sanctions related to Venezuela, and the current political volatile situation in the country, MSC informed that it will apply, with immediate effect a War Risk Premium surcharge on cargo coming from worldwide destinations into Venezuela.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) issued an advisory informing that the US has designated Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) as a Specially Designated National and Blocked Person (SDN) and therefore RMI will be unable to provide services to vessels linked to PdVSA.
China dismissed a warning issued by the US Department of State not to provide services to the tanker ‘Pacific Bravo’ carrying Iranian crude oil, noting that energy deals between the international community and the Middle East nation should be respected.
US Senators Marco Rubio and Ben Cardin reintroduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act. This is a bipartisan bill to impose sanctions against Chinese individuals and entities that take part ‘in Beijing’s illegitimate activities to aggressively assert its expansive maritime and territorial claims in these disputed regions.’
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated two companies that operate in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended. OFAC has also identified two vessels, which transported oil from Venezuela to Cuba, as blocked property owned by the two companies.
The US Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture complaint against the North Korean-registered bulk carrier ‘M/V Wise Honest’, for illicitly ship coal from North Korea, thus violating US law and United Nations Security Council resolutions.
According to Bloomberg, US President Donald Trump provided an executive order banning the purchase of Iranian iron, steel, aluminum and copper, worsening the tensions with the Islamic Republic a day after he declared he may begin enriching uranium again in two months.
On May 2, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments in order to provide organizations subject to US jurisdiction, as well as foreign entities that carry out business in or with the US or US persons, or that use US-origin goods or services, with a framework on the necessary components of the sanctions compliance programs.
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