• 2020 January 21 14:06

    BIMCO issues update on Persian Gulf tensions and sanctions clauses

    After the killing of General Qassem Soleimani by a US drone in early January 2020, and the following retaliation by Iran, BIMCO is publishing its view of the escalated tension in the Persian Gulf, as well as advice regarding the new sanctions clauses, and encourages owners, operators and charterers to follow the operational and contractual guidance set out in this article.

    The killing of Iranian General Soleimani constituted a significant escalation of an already tense situation between US and Iran. The subsequent firing of missiles at US military targets by Iran in retaliation and the shooting down of a Ukrainian airplane by Iranian missiles show, in BIMCO’s view, that further Iranian retaliation must be expected. In the light of the escalated tension, owners and operators should continue to carefully monitor the situation.

    BIMCO believes Iranian retaliation can take place anywhere in the world, on land or at sea, where Iran and their Shia proxies have the possibility to hit the US or their allies, including the Persian Gulf, the Straits of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb and the Red Sea.

    In the maritime domain, the most likely targets of an Iranian retaliation are ships, crews or cargoes with direct links to the US or its closest allies. That said, with the attacks on tankers off Fujairah and in the Gulf of Oman in May and June 2019, attacks against shipping in general cannot be ruled out. This could be in an Iranian attempt to disrupt freedom of navigation in and out of the Persian Gulf, or as the result of collateral damage. It is expected that Iran will seek options for retaliation that include an element of plausible deniability of involvement, as this will make it more difficult for the US to justify retaliatory action and help stoke up the political differences domestically in the US, as well as between the US and its usual allies.

    BIMCO encourages the shipping industry to take several basic precautions when operating in areas where the US-Iran conflict can spill over. These precautions include reporting to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), strengthening the ship's watertight integrity and firefighting capability and improve lookout and general awareness of how the situation develops.

    Shipowners planning to send ships to the troubled region should carry out a thorough risk assessment and consider all relevant factors. Some shipowners will choose to stay away completely, while others will find it safe enough to carry out the voyage. Such a decision depends on the risk appetite of the shipowner and the outcome of the risk assessment. BIMCO normally does not issue recommendations regarding whether to suspend or continue shipping in specific regions. This is also the case regarding the Persian Gulf.

    US President Donald Trump issued a new Executive Order authorizing the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to impose wide sanctions targeting persons operating in and supporting Iran´s construction, mining, manufacturing and textile sectors and any other sector of the Iranian economy as may be determined. Simultaneously, eight senior Iranian officials, 17 Iranian metal producers and mining companies and a network of China- and Seychelles-based entities were designated.

    To cater for this situation and to avoid any sanctions´ violation, BIMCO recommends that parties trading in the Persian Gulf area carefully check all persons involved for exposure to sanctions and to incorporate the latest available editions of standard sanctions clauses into their charter parties: the BIMCO SANCTIONS CLAUSE FOR TIME CHARTER PARTIES 2020 and the BIMCO SANCTIONS CLAUSE FOR VOYAGE CHARTER PARTIES 2020. These clauses will help the parties to navigate the risks and to protect the innocent party in case of sanctions´ violations.

    In view of the military attacks and tensions, some owners and operators are considering whether to refuse to proceed to, or if the vessel is already there, to leave the Persian Gulf area. Owners´ potential rights and the allocation of additional insurance costs were highlighted in BIMCO´s news pieces PERSIAN GULF: WAR RISKS REVISITED and TENSION IN THE GULF: THE CONTRACTUAL IMPLICATIONS. BIMCO refers to these news pieces for guidance.




2020 February 19

18:37 Eni launches hull for Coral Sul FLNG in offshore Mozambique
18:06 Port of Rotterdam aims to become the most sustainable biorefinery in Europe
17:52 NOVATEK’s 2019 profit grew 5.3 times YoY to RUB 865.5 billion
17:31 Royal IHC launches TSHD GHASHA for National Marine Dredging Company
17:28 Wärtsilä and Carnival achieve real-time data exchange between ship and port
17:06 Jan De Nul finishes deepening works in the Port of Maputo
16:46 Port of Hamburg seaborne cargo throughput up 1.1 percent to 136.6 million tons in 2019
16:42 PM Yury Borisov backs RF Transport Ministry’s proposal to assign cargo to Russian-flagged and Russian-owned vessels
16:13 Boston Ship Repair gets Navy's $14.3M contract
15:37 Russia’s market demand for marine fuel to exceed 10 million tonnes in 2020 – PM Yury Borisov
15:10 Inmarsat launches connectivity services in Saudi Arabia across land, sea and air
14:51 FESCO launches new regular container train from Novosibirsk to Khabarovsk
13:48 Russia’s bunker market fell by over 6% YoY to 11 million tonnes in 2019
13:06 Rosneft’s hydrocarbon production in 2019 remained flat YoY at 5.79 mmboed
12:39 Rosneft reports 29-pct increase of its 2019 net income to RUB 708 bln
12:05 Philippine Ports Authority net income soars 31% in 2019
11:47 Konstantin Anisimov appointed as Deputy Head of Federal Marine and River Transport Agency
11:00 Position of the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) on the European Green Deal
10:52 Golar Power forms partnership with BR Distribuidora
10:41 IMO continues its work to counter maritime crime
10:21 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 19
10:18 Finland accedes to Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety
09:54 Bunker prices go down at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia
09:32 Brent Crude futures price is up 1.07% to $58.37, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.05% to $52.84
09:19 Milaha takes part in the Qatar Maritime and Logistics Summit as its main sponsor
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is up to 450 points

2020 February 18

18:00 Petronas signs 12-year time charter party for two new build LNG vessels
17:36 MARAD announces more than $280 million in grants for US ports
17:27 Jotun Marine: Proactive measures needed to improve hull performance
17:06 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from the Mediterranean to USEC and USGULF
16:43 EIB supports refurbishment of Port of Ystad to accommodate climate-friendly vessels
16:21 Oboronlogistics designated as sole executor of works and services related to delivery of goods by sea to Kaliningrad Region
15:36 CMA CGM announces Emergency Space Surcharge for exports from Russia & Baltic
15:33 Stena Bulk and Admiral Makarov University agree to make company-branded class
15:04 Port of Singapore to give 50% port dues concession to passenger vessels
14:40 Borr Drilling enters into new financing arrangement for a newbuild jack-up drilling rig
14:07 Volga Shipping Company to convert three tankers into dry cargo carriers in 2020
13:24 DP World to delist from Nasdaq Dubai
12:48 Bunker prices go down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:10 E.ON, Rotterdam Port Authority and DeltaPort Niederrheinhäfen agree to develop an infrastructure for freight and passenger ships
11:04 GTT receives two orders from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries
10:52 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO grew to RUB 10,253 in RF spot market
10:21 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 18
10:19 Linkspan connection/disconnection service tariff changed at Ust-Luga ferry terminal
09:54 Divers of RF Navy's Black Sea Fleet started preparing for "Depth-2020" competition
09:33 Brent Crude futures price is down 1.13% to $57.02, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.76% to $51.92
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is up to 434 points

2020 February 17

18:37 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Middle East Gulf & Pakistan to North Europe, the Mediterranean and Red Sea & Red Sea
18:06 European Shipping Week 2020 opens with the latest figures on European shipping
17:50 Gazprom Neft’s supplies of low-sulphur marine fuel to domestic market to exceed 1.5 million tonnes in 2020
17:36 SCHOTTEL secures contract to provide propulsion units for a newly built harbour tug
17:18 BlueWater Reporting issues ISC-North America trade report
17:05 Saga Subsea receives new contract
16:30 IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response meets this week
16:05 Reach Subsea awarded several contracts and call-offs under frame agreements for 2020 execution
15:54 Wärtsilä to supply customized Hybrid Scrubber solution to two Norwegian Cruise Line ships
15:06 Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg's allocations under its social programme totaled RUB 47 million in 2019
14:42 Container throughput of Hong Kong port (China) fell by 20.4% to 1.35 million TEUs in Jan’2020
14:17 Damen holds keel-laying ceremony for Nigerian Navy landing craft
13:38 WFW advices BPER BANCA on Marittima Emiliana financing