IRISL uses deception to avoid sanctions
The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued an advisory to alert shippers, importers/exporters and freight forwarders to practices used by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and companies acting on its behalf to evade U.S. and international economic sanctions.
OFAC said the practices to hide the involvement of IRISL in shipping transactions, include:
' Use of container prefixes registered to another carrier.
' Omitting or listing invalid, incomplete or false container prefixes in shipping container numbers.
' Naming non-existent ocean vessels in shipping documents.
IRISL has used container prefixes such as IRSU and XBIU, which belong to another carrier, and ALXU, which is fabricated. Examples of container prefixes that are registered to designated entities affiliated with IRISL include SBAU and HDXU.
OFAC said these practices with documents including letters of credit and other trade finance facilities, enable IRISL's shipping business and the financing of transactions involving merchandise shipped on vessels that have been identified as blocked.
Transactions involving U.S.-sanctioned entities cannot be processed through the United States or by U.S. persons unless there is an authorization from OFAC.
“Given the active and ongoing attempts at sanctions evasion by IRISL, OFAC advises all persons to exercise enhanced due diligence to ensure that they do not unwittingly process fraudulent shipping documents or facilitate prohibited activities,” OFAC said. “All persons should be alert to the presentation of fabricated vessel names in trade documents and check the bona fides of unfamiliar entities issuing shipping documents.”