Sanctions are still a minefield for trade with Iran and Russia

Oslo: Midday at the Nor-Shipping conference on Monday saw a high-calibre line-up of panellists discussing navigating the minefield of international trade sanctions, focusing on shipowners and operators active in Iran and Russia trades.

Sanctions are historically a foreign policy tool, but they have the effect of hitting transactions at almost all levels in the business community, delegates were told.

Margit Tveiten, director-general of Norway’s ministry of foreign affairs, spoke about how the Norwegian side of sanctions mirrors EU sanctions.

She said Norway does not act alone on sanctions and it is important that countries cooperate. The sanctions against Russia’s petroleum sector are hurting the business community specifically in deep water, she explained.

Jonathan Hare, senior vice president at P&I Club Skuld, elaborated that navigating the sanctions landscape is extremely difficult. The law is complex, can be unclear and volatile; the political situation is also one in which it is difficult to manoeuvre.

Tveiten said this was not on purpose. Anders Engeset, director of Fearnleys offshore supply segment, supported her on this issue and said it had received positive support from the Norwegian foreign minister when it came to manoeuvring within existing regulations.

Hans Thaulow

Hans Henrik Thaulow is an Oslo-based journalist who has been covering the shipping industry for the last 15 years. As well as some work for the Informa Group, Hans was the China correspondent for TradeWinds. He also contributes to Maritime CEO magazine. Hans’ shipping background extends to working as a shipbroker trainee with Simpson, Spence & Young in Hong Kong.
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