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’.
According to Bloomberg the costs of oil tankers are rapidly increasing, following the US’s sanctions against Chinese companies accusing them of hauling Iranian crude. The rates for vessels hauling 2 million-barrel cargoes of Middle East oil to Asia rose to 19%; Meanwhile, the cost to transmit US crude to Asia on supertankers increased by 6.3% to $8.5 million on Thursday, as Bloomberg reports.
The US Department of Treasury applied new sanctions against Russian entities and vessels that were involved in a sanctions evasion scheme, on delivering jet fuel to Russian forces operating in Syria.
US’s Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed six sanctions on six Chinese companies, amongst them COSCO, for transporting oil from Iran in defiance of sanctions set in place in November 2018. Sanctioned COSCO affects the shipping industry and those oil companies and traders who have entered agreements.
The US Department of Treasury blacklisted four vessels and four companies for reportedly helping Venezuela’s petroleum export sector and in the delivery of the oil to Cuban buyers. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or within the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.
Following a long journey across Mediterranean, the Iranian oil tanker ‘Adrian Darya 1’, which is at the centre of a major diplomatic dispute between Iran and the US, eventually arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus and sold its cargo, violating EU and US sanctions.
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