• 2012 November 13 18:45

    Hong Kong to de-flag 19 Iranian ships

    Hong Kong will stop allowing 19 ships linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) from operating under its flag, a government letter showed, in the latest blow to Tehran's sanctions-hit global trade, reported Reuters.

    A letter from the Hong Kong government's marine department (HKMD) dated November 9 and seen by Reuters showed the authority had given notice to the owners of the 19 ships.

    Despite the move to de-flag Iranian ships, China continues to be the biggest taker of Iranian oil – a vital revenue earner for Tehran as it struggles with Western sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear programme.

    Hong Kong had been urged by US pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) to end the flagging of 19 dry bulk ships, which the group said were owned, managed or operated by IRISL and its front companies.

    "As it is of paramount importance to HKMD in safeguarding the quality of Hong Kong ships, HKMD has therefore taken action already in notifying the owners of these 19 ships for the closure of the registration in Hong Kong within 90 days beginning from the date of the notice being served," S F Wong, Hong Kong Shipping Register's general manager, said in the letter.

    "Whether or not these 19 ships and the associated companies are acting on behalf of, or at the direction of, IRISL would be a question of fact."

    IRISL officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
    Tough sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States have tightened the screws on Tehran, which relies on its shipping trade for imports including food, consumer and industrial goods.

    Many foreign companies have pulled out for fear of losing business in the United States and due to the complexities of arranging deals that are exempt from sanctions.

    IRISL, Iran's top cargo carrier, has been on a Western blacklist of sanctioned entities for years, accused of transporting weapons, which it denies.

    The carrier, whose fleet includes dry bulker and container ships, has tried to dodge sanctions by changing its flags and setting up front companies, the US Treasury and the EU have said.

    The world's top 13 ship classification societies including the Korean Register of Shipping (KR), which provide certification vital for securing insurance and ports access, have pulled out of Iran, adding even more pressure on Tehran.

    Wong said KR had confirmed to HKMD it would not conduct any survey or audit from January 1, 2013 on the 19 ships.

    "Given KR has effectively ceased to provide services or support to the company for managing the Hong Kong ships, HKMD does have concern about the safety and the quality of these ships," Wong said in the letter.

    A spokeswoman with the HKMD said that whenever there is evidence, such as a lack of certification, that the seaworthiness of any Hong Kong-registered ship could be in question, such a vessel may be de-registered.

    "Hong Kong has always committed to discharge international obligations in implementing United Nations' sanctions and will continue its efforts in exercising due vigilance to exclude any company or ship under UN sanctions to be on the Hong Kong Shipping Register," she said.

    China is still Iran's top trading partner. Iranian crude volumes received by China have been below contracted levels since September, however, because Iran's tanker fleet, the sole transporter of its crude to China, has been struggling to meet delivery schedules, trade sources have said.

    "After September 11, Hong Kong has proved itself time and again to be very compliant with all US regulations with regards to supply chain security. It is not surprising they would de-register the ships," a European ship industry official said.

    "The Chinese are still buying oil, and this is a clear illustration of the one country, two systems principle."


2019 September 15

15:47 M/V "SARA” refused access to the Paris MoU region
14:26 USCG assisted capsized USFSP sail students in St. Petersburg, Florida
12:02 World’s largest wind turbine blade test stand built by Siemens Gamesa
11:21 IMCA to introduce CPD scheme for diving supervisors
10:51 L3Harris Technologies delivers new advanced autonomous vehicle capability to UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

2019 September 14

15:29 Coast Guard reopens Houston Ship Channel after protest demonstration
13:39 Crondall Energy partners with Pharis Energy on innovative Pilot Field development
12:08 Prysmian's new cable-laying vessel Leonardo da Vinci scheduled for delivery in 2Q 2021
10:32 Woodside invests in emerging technology for seismic data acquisition

2019 September 13

18:06 Sture terminal situation normalised
17:47 Malaysia encourages gender diversity in the maritime industry
17:24 Multipurpose ship of Project MPSV12, Kalas, successfully completed sea trials
17:06 Frontline extends expiry date of first option for two Trafigura Suezmax tankers
16:30 ABP to welcome Royal Navy’s HMS Grimsby into Port of Grimsby
16:25 Wärtsilä Aquarius UV Ballast Water Management System chosen for retrofitting to four Korean vessels
16:05 Multi Modal Rail B.V. (MMR) launches rail service between Rotterdam and Ottmarsheim, France
15:48 ABP and WISTA UK host 'Women in Maritime' reception during LISW
15:09 Shearwater GeoServices awarded large South America survey
14:26 ABB enables emissions-free port stay in Marseille for Corsica Linea ferries
14:09 Start of the project “Dredging the Nieuwe Diep – Port of Den Helder”
13:45 First ever ABB electric propulsion to be installed on board a bulk carrier
13:20 Port of Oakland opens peak season with cargo volume growth
12:47 Throughput of port Kavkaz in 8M’2019 fell by 30% Y-o-Y to 22.35 million tonnes
12:09 MOL starts demonstration test of vessel image recognition system using AI technology on Nippon Maru
11:28 RS introduces new requirements into Part I of Rules for Classification and Construction of Sea-Going Ships
11:09 Rolls-Royce achieves 50th MT30 production milestone
10:42 In August, Klaipėda LNG Terminal regasified 1.4 times more gas than was consumed in the entire country
10:09 Port of Long Beach cargo volumes hit 663,992 TEUs in August 2019
10:04 Port Napier, NZ, places order for Damen ATD Tug 2412
09:51 Bunker market sees mixed price movements at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:34 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.28% to $60.21, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.24% to $54.96
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is down to 2,331 points
09:10 Antwerp and Rotterdam Port Authorities ask new European Commission and Parliament to focus on the economic significance of ports
09:03 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Sept 13

2019 September 12

18:12 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in Jan-Aug’2019 fell by 21% Y-o-Y to 7.60 million tonnes
17:51 Throughput of port Vyborg in Jan-Aug’2019 fell by 30% Y-o-Y to 810,300 tonnes
17:27 Throughput of port Vysotsk in Jan-Aug'2019 climbed by 6% Y-o-Y to 12.75 million tonnes
16:50 Throughput of port Primorsk in Jan-Aug’2019 grew by 16% Y-o-Y to 41.57 million tonnes
16:24 Vestdavit equips Norwegian Coast Guard’s next generation for Polar boat launch and recovery
16:03 Administration and personnel of Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg sign new Collective Agreement
15:45 SCF Group and NYK Line sign USD 176 million credit facility for eight years with three leading international banks
15:24 Towing and supplying vessel of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company put back into operation
14:46 FESCO new vessel started working on a regular sea line connecting Magadan and Primorski Krai
14:24 Equinor gets consent for exploration drilling in the Barents Sea
14:02 GTT supports 3rd Conference “LNG Fleet and LNG Bunkering in Russia” as its sponsor
13:43 Volvo Penta’s latest D6 propulsion package set new standards for high-speed vessels
13:23 Eagle Bulk Shipping takes delivery of M/V Dublin Eagle
13:11 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:50 UK Government backs cutting-edge tech to drive down shipping emissions
12:29 Super-efficient Wasaline ferry to get Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum navigation system
12:12 Port of Ust-Luga handled 69.96 million tonnes in 8M’19, up 7% Y-o-Y
11:47 LNG production and shipment facility in Kaliningrad Region to be launched before the end of 2019
11:24 Throughput of Russian seaports in 8M'2019 grew by 2.9% to 556.3 million tonnes of cargo (detalization)
10:55 Throughput of Port St. Petersburg in 8M'2019 climbed by 2% Y-o-Y to 40.17 million tonnes
10:09 GTT receives two new orders from Hyundai Heavy Industries
09:56 Dredging at the seaway canal of Kaliningrad estimated at 30 million cbm
09:38 Baltic Dry Index is down to 2,366 points
09:17 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.76% to $61.27, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.93% to $56.27
09:09 The Gothenburg Port Authority holds early dialogue to prepare for fairway project
08:51 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning, Sept 12