Two senior administrators quoted to Reuters that they have been in close communication with COSCO vessels highlighting the importance of not shutting down their AIS, as they send the wrong message, commenting that turning off the ships' transponders is an 'incredibly dangerous and irresponsible behavior.'

The Administrators added that 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.

From October 7, COSCO tankers have shut off their ship-tracking transponders and have stopped sending location data from their automatic identification system (AIS), according to ship tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon.

On September 25, the U.S. imposed sanctions on COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian), along with China Concord Petroleum Co., Limited, Kunlun Shipping Company Limited, Pegasus 88 Limited, and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co, Ltd as well as the Chinese companies Kunlun Holding Company Ltd. and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co., Ltd., for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction for the transport of oil from Iran, not complying with the according sanctions set in November 2018.