Sanctions - Syria
A number of sanctions in the European Union have been applied by EU Regulation 36/2012. Those most relevant to the shipping and marine insurance industries are:
- a prohibition on the transport of crude oil and petroleum products of Syrian origin,
- a prohibition on the provision of key equipment and technology for use in the oil and gas industry in Syria,
- a prohibition on the provision of insurance and reinsurance to Syrian persons and entities,
- asset freezes on a number of individuals and entities.
The United States has imposed similar sanctions, principally prohibiting US individuals, or entities from :
- making new investments in Syria
- exporting, re-exporting, selling or supplying directly or indirectly, of any services to Syria,
- importing or dealing in Syrian-origin petroleum or petroleum products.
EU Regulation 1323/2014 prohibits the sale, transfer or supply of jet fuels and additives - irrespective of origin - to any person, entity or body in Syria, or for use in Syria.
OFAC issued advisory notices in November 2018 and March 2019 concerning the risks of carrying petroleum shipments to Syria. They warn in the strongest terms against the carriage and supply of such cargoes to the Syrian Government or any other Specially Designated National (SDN). Doing so would be in breach of U.S. sanctions and potentially open the carrier to the full force of penalties from the U.S. authorities, which will at best affect the future trading of the vessel and at worst could prove fatal to the future viability of a Member's whole enterprise. A helpful Client Guide on the subject published by the Club’s U.S. attorneys Freehill Hogan & Mahar can be found here.
Any Member contemplating trading to Syria is strongly advised to read these documents as well as the other material published by the Club regarding Syrian sanctions, especially Notice to Members No.9 2016/2017.
Members are also reminded there is no Club cover for trading in breach of sanctions. Both the EU and the United States have designated a large number of individuals and entities in the Syrian Government or associated with it. Great care needs to be taken to ensure that the final receiver is not on the SDN list. If Customs fines were to be levied for cargo shortage or damage - not an uncommon occurrence - the Member may have difficulty in paying them and the Club reimbursing because the payment would be to the benefit of the Syrian Government.
Payment of claims and fees and the provision of security by the Club are very likely to be difficult in not impossible to arrange, especially if an SDN were involved (e.g. dock damage to a government-owned terminal or pollution event). Reinsurance recovery shortfalls may also be expected for very large claims on the Pool or General Excess Loss programme and these may have to be borne by the Member – please see the section on Club cover on our main sanctions webpage for details.
While the current political and military situation in Syria remains uncertain Members are advised to contact the Managers for further advice.
The information provided by the Club and in particular through its website is not and is not intended to be exhaustive. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided. However this cannot be guaranteed given that sanctions measures are subject to alteration by Governmental organisations at short notice. Further the information on this site is not, and should not be relied upon as, independent legal advice.
Members are strongly advised to undertake due diligence before fixing any business to or from a sanctioned country in order to ensure that neither the prospective cargo nor the parties to the planned venture are sanctioned. The Club is willing to assist Members where possible but they may nevertheless wish to take independent legal advice.