Geopolitical events have pushed sanctions high up the agenda for everyone involved in the shipping industry.

For vessel owners and charterers, commodity traders and individual business owners, the spectre of sanctions - and the consequences of breaching those sanctions - loom large.

Complying with sanctions involves navigating a web of national and supranational sanctions. The United Nations, United States, European Union, and United Kingdom have all set out sanctions that can impact shipping in certain trades.

Furthermore, many of the world’s largest shipping lines, charterers and insurers and their banks are required to comply with and will be affected by sanctions in the places where they operate.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the UN Panel of Experts (UN POE) describe the following ways in which shipping can breach sanctions:

  • Ship-to-ship transfers (STS) - concealing the origin of cargoes.
  • Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) - ‘going dark’ to obfuscate the whereabouts of a vessel.
  • Financial system abuse - concealing illicit transfers of funds.
  • False or incorrect documentation - including falsified bills of lading, invoices or other paperwork.

Ensuring that you do not inadvertently breach sanctions requires knowledgeable, experienced counsel.

And it is exactly this level of legal advice and support that Shearwater law provides.

Shearwater Law is familiar with all aspects of sanctions laid out by bodies such as the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), European Union sanctions and others.

We can draw on our extensive experience of these sanctions regimes and, where necessary, involve our network of specialist contacts around the world to answer specific questions.

Shipping sanctions legal support

Shearwater Law’s sanctions team is able to provide a 360º sanctions service, spanning:

  • The screening of customers and suppliers to ensure they are not designated persons (or controlled by one).
  • Advice on sanctions regulations covering trade, commodities, energy, insurance, transportation, and finances.
  • Support on sanctions disputes and investigations.
  • Sanctions compliance procedures.

Our sanctions support also extends to more general advice including counterparty risk, the operational and practical implications of sanctions and broader support around peripheral legal issues.

Our approach to sanctions cases

We take a diligent, straightforward approach to sanctions cases.

With breaches of sanctions having the potential to result in large financial penalties and significant reputational damage, Shearwater Law understands the need to achieve a fast, effective resolution.

First and foremost, however, it is our aim to prevent you from breaching sanctions in the first place - which is why our sanctions team stays at the forefront of the latest developments.

The quality of our sanctions advice and case handling is evidenced by the range of clients that make use of our services. These clients include major ship owners, ship managers, charterers, insurers and P&I clubs, trade associations, brokers, ports and individuals.

Choose Shearwater Law for sanctions-related support

Whether you’re dealing with sanctions for the first time, or you require assistance with a sanctions dispute or investigation, Shearwater Law can help.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

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