US Imposes Sanctions on 17 Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers with Liberian Registration

The United States has added 17 ships flying the Liberian flag, which are involved in carrying bulk goods and oil, to a list that imposes restrictions on dealings with Russia. The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took this action, because of that violating sanctions regime related to the cap on oil prices imposed on Russian oil by Western countries. The sanctions also target a shipping company called Hennesea Holdings based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said the inclusion on the list is the consequence for those violating the price cap that was imposed almost a year ago.

“Today’s actions once again demonstrate that anyone who violates the price cap will face the consequences. No one should doubt our coalition’s commitment to stopping those who help the Kremlin,”

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo

The approach to sanctions has shifted, as initially, the West aimed to use its dominance in maritime insurance to enforce the restrictions. However, Russia and its partners have found ways to insure their ships independently. Meanwhile, Russia has established a shadow fleet operating outside the sanctions regime, leading OFAC to target individual ships for secondary sanctions.

The U.S. Treasury alleges that Hennesea Holdings owns vessels transporting Russian crude oil above the $60 per barrel limit, and these vessels have reportedly made repeated port calls at Russian ports, according to OFAC.

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