• ITVI.USA
    13,795.070
    81.410
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    26.560
    -0.120
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,740.380
    64.000
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    -0.060
    -2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.670
    0.130
    5.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    0.280
    10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
    -0.020
    -1.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.040
    0.050
    1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.740
    0.050
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.210
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,795.070
    81.410
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    26.560
    -0.120
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,740.380
    64.000
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    -0.060
    -2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.670
    0.130
    5.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    0.280
    10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
    -0.020
    -1.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.040
    0.050
    1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.740
    0.050
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.210
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

U.S. turns up heat on illicit Syrian oil imports

The Office of Foreign Assets Control has taken particular aim at sanctioning those individuals and entities involved in the maritime transport of oil for the Assad regime.

   Frustrated by continued illicit oil deliveries to Syria’s Assad regime by Russia and Iran, the U.S. is turning up the heat in the form of increased export-prohibiting sanctions against overseas businesses involved with these shipments.
   The Assad regime pays for the oil by funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force operating in Syria, which in turn transfers a portion of that money to terrorist groups Hamas and Hizballah, also in the region, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. 
   “The United States is committed to imposing a financial toll on Iran, Russia and others for their efforts to solidify Assad’s authoritarian rule, as well as disrupt the Iranian regime’s funding of terrorist organizations,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
   The sanctions, which were announced Tuesday, take particular aim at Syrian national Mohammad Amer Alchwiki and his Russia-based company, Global Vision Group. 
   Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also issued an advisory to the maritime industry at large regarding the sanctions risks of shipping oil to the Syrian government, which now includes a “non-exhaustive” list of 35 vessels that have allegedly delivered oil to Syria since 2016. 
   “Shipping companies, insurers, vessel owners, managers and operators should all be aware of the grave consequences of engaging in sanctionable conduct involving Iranian oil shipments,” said Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker.  
   OFAC noted that with the increase of sanctions against Assad’s regime, ocean carriers transporting oil are using “deceptive practices by obfuscating the destination and recipient of oil shipments in the Mediterranean Sea ultimately destined for Syria.”
   These deceptions include the use of falsified cargo and vessel documents, ship-to-ship transfers of oil products while at sea and temporarily disabling automatic identification systems (AIS) on board ships. 
   “While AIS was not specifically designed for vessel tracking, it is often used for this purpose via terrestrial and satellite receivers feeding this information to commercial ship tracking services,” OFAC said.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.
Close