The US Treasure Department announced that it has lifted sanction on one of the two sanctioned units of Cosco Shipping, deleting from its sanctions list Cosco Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co, but continues having blacklisted the unit Cosco Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management.
During an interview with CNBC, Maersk’s CEO, Soren Skou, provided his thoughts on the US-China trade war, and the recently-signed Phase 1 deal. He also commented on the slowed trade, as well as the problematic situation at the Strait of Hormuz.
South Korea plans to deploy an anti-piracy unit – now operating off the coast of Africa – to the area around the Strait of Hormuz. This decision comes after the US called for help in guarding oil tankers.
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the United States Department of Transportation issued one new advisory to commercial shipping, canceling the earlier ones issued in 2019. Namely, the 2020-002-Gulf of Guinea-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Kidnapping for Ransom, cancels the the U.S. Maritime Advisory 2019-010.
Reuters reports that Iran is unlikely to block the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s busiest oil-shipping channel, in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, due to fear of aggravating its Gulf allies as well as China.
Japan has decided to dispatch a warship and patrol planes to the Arabian Gulf, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, in spite of increased tensions in the Middle East.
Reuters reports that Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA has ordered its ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz. According to a statement, the decision was taken after consultations with Brazil’s Navy, not affect Petrobras’ fuel supply in Brazil.
After the death of the Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani by a US drone, the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) officially published an advisory in order to warn the US ships located across the Middle East waterways of the possible Iranian maritime threats.
The Royal Navy will accompany British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz to provide protection during high tensions in the region, according to the Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. As he stated, he has instructed HMS Montrose and HMS Defender to return to accompanying duties of Red Ensign Shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.
It is said that on Thursday, December 19, the Trump administration renewed a waiver for companies to loosen transactions with the Dalian unit of a Chinese tanker company it had sanctioned in September for allegedly transporting Iranian oil, Reuters reports.
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