• 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 20

18:27 SMOOTH PORTS Partners met and discussed in Livorno
18:07 UNIIQ invests in Tetrahedron’s innovative crane for next-gen wind turbines
17:52 RF Navy’s Admiral Kasatonov frigate left for Barents Sea to continue testing
17:30 Evergreen issues notice for reefer cargo to Shanghai、Ningbo and Xingang, China
17:17 Tersan Shipyard (Turkey) delivers lead crab catching and processing ship of Project ST184
17:00 West Africa Container Terminal to commence Phase 2 upgrade
16:53 Indonesia hosts new national workshop on maritime security risk
16:53 Port of Rotterdam increases sales of LNG and VLSFO
16:29 UN agencies collaborate to promote seafarers’ rights treaty
16:04 INOK TM and Admiral Makarov SUMIS sign agreement on cooperation
15:38 Rosmorport reports on its icebreaker support in Russian seaports as of February 17, 2020
15:11 Rosmorport changes tariffs for services offered at the seaport of Kaliningrad
14:47 BIMCO joins Japan to regulate carbon intensity of existing ships
14:25 ESPO published its Position Paper on European Green Deal objectives in ports
14:02 CHIMBUSCO starts to supply China-produced low sulphur bunker oil to international ships
13:43 Top-level speakers announced for Unmanned Maritime Systems Technology 2020 in London
13:20 Throughput of Russia’s river ports fell by 11.6%, from 143.1 million tonnes in 2010 to 126.5 million tonnes in 2019
13:01 BC Ferries names and christens the first two Island Class ferries
12:46 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:31 National Marine Dredging Company and Royal IHC launch TSHD GHASHA
12:08 Port of Baku and Tamiz Shahar cooperate on environmental issues
11:48 Hapag-Lloyd improves operating result by more than 80 percent in 2019
11:41 Port of Gdynia widens its internal entrance to 140 m
11:15 CMA CGM announces PSS for exports from East Russia
10:52 Russian Maritime Register of Shipping introduces new scheme of oil and gas equipment approval
10:24 Main contractor Damen and more than a hundred companies contribute to Combat Support Ship
10:24 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 20
09:53 Ships of RF Navy’s Baltic Fleet left for Atlantic to perform combat training tasks
09:35 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.32% to $59.31, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.45% to $53.73
09:14 Baltic Dry Index is up to 465 points

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