Watch Now

US sanctions two COSCO tanker operators for Iranian oil activity

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control said the sanctions do not apply to parent company COSCO Shipping Corp. and other affiliates not involved in the transport of Iranian oil.

OFAC has placed sanctions on two of COSCO Shipping’s oil tanker operations. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets on Sept. 25 placed sanctions on two of COSCO Shipping’s oil tanker operations for their alleged continued role in transporting Iranian oil.

Specifically, OFAC added COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co. Ltd. and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman and Ship Management Co. Ltd. to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List.

OFAC also added a handful of Chinese executives and Chinese tanker operations China Concord Petroleum Co. Ltd., Kunlun Holding Company Ltd., Kunlun Shipping Company Limited and Pegasus 88 Limited.

“The blocking sanctions apply only to these listed entities and any entities in which they own, individually or in the aggregate, a 50% or greater interest,” OFAC said.

The agency said in a frequently asked questions statement that the sanctions do not apply to the entities’ parent COSCO Shipping Corp. Ltd. or the Chinese carrier’s other affiliates.

“U.S. persons, therefore, are not prohibited from dealing with COSCO, its non-blocked subsidiaries or non-blocked affiliates to the extent the proposed dealings do not involve any blocked person or any other activities prohibited pursuant to any OFAC sanctions authorities,” OFAC said. “Similarly, non-U.S. persons do not face sanctions risk for engaging in transactions with COSCO, its non-blocked subsidiaries or non-blocked affiliates.”

The U.S. has strengthened its use of sanctions against Iran’s oil supply since it left the international Iran nuclear treaty in 2018. Numerous Iranian and foreign entities and individuals, as well as vessels, have been since placed on the SDN List for their alleged role in transporting Iranian oil, which the U.S. said helps to finance the activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods (IRGC-QF).

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.