The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the U.S. Coast Guard issued a global advisory to alert the maritime industry, and those active in the energy and metals sectors to deceptive shipping practices used to evade sanctions, with a focus on Iran, North Korea, and Syria. The advisory includes a detailed set of best practices for private industry to consider adopting to mitigate exposure to sanctions risk. The deceptive shipping practices discussed in this report may create significant sanctions risk for individuals and entities involved in these industries.
The advisory updates and expands upon previous advisories issued by the U.S. government. It is intended to provide actors that utilize the maritime industry for trade with information on and tools to counter current and emerging trends in sanctions evasion related to shipping and associated services. The advisory highlights common deceptive shipping practices used with respect to countries like Iran, North Korea, and Syria.
The advisory also includes best practices for different sectors of the maritime and energy industries, including global commodity traders, maritime insurers, financial institutions, ship owners and flag registries, and others, to assist in their due diligence and mitigation of sanctions risk. Additionally, the advisory provides information about U.S. and United Nations sanctions relevant to the maritime industry, including a non-exhaustive list of activities for which persons could be sanctioned by the U.S. government. The United States remains committed to disrupting shipping activities by malign actors worldwide—including sanctions evasion and smuggling—which may facilitate criminal activity and threatens international peace and security.