March 25, 2019: OFAC updates Syria Shipping Advisory

On Monday, OFAC issued an updated version of its November advisory to the maritime shipping industry that highlighted risks of shipments made to Syria. And the Treasury Department issued the following press release:

Updated Treasury Advisory Highlights Risks for Maritime Petroleum Shipping Community in Syria

Dozens of new vessels involved in illicit oil shipments added

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated its Advisory to the Maritime Petroleum Shipping Community to highlight risks associated with shipments to Syria.  This advisory updates Treasury’s November 20, 2018 Advisory to include additional guidelines and risks associated with facilitating the shipment of petroleum destined for Syrian Government-owned and operated ports, to include petroleum of Iranian origin.  It adds dozens of new vessels involved in illicit oil shipments, including 16 shipping to Syria and more than 30 engaging in ship-to-ship transfers, and highlights concerns with shipments of petroleum from Iran.

“Treasury has previously exposed a far-reaching oil for terror network involving Iran and Syria, and continues to target ships and companies facilitating illicit trade.  The United States has made it clear to the maritime shipping community that we will not tolerate the use of petroleum as a mechanism to finance rogue regimes in Iran and Syria.  As Iran and Syria attempt to adapt their illicit tactics and shift to new vessels, we will continue to provide these updates to the shipping community,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker.  “Shipping companies, insurers, vessel owners, managers, and operators must aggressively counter the ongoing deceptive shipping practices deployed by Iran and Syria and other questionable jurisdictions.  Any violations of prohibitions or weaknesses in compliance that result in sanctionable conduct exposes the shipping community to significant risks and can trigger severe consequences.”

The new iteration of the Advisory includes major updates to its annex, which lists vessels that have delivered petroleum to Syria since 2016.  The annex also includes vessels that have engaged in ship-to-ship (STS) transfers of petroleum likely destined for Syria, as well as vessels which have exported Syrian petroleum.  Many of the names of the vessels have also been updated to reflect name changes.

A link to the updated Advisory (as well as to the North Korea one updated last week) appears on the Guidance and Resources page.

Links:

OFAC Notice

Updated Syria Shipping Advisory

Treasury Press Release

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