Ship Building Sale and Finance

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Shipping finance and sanctions

Shipping finance and sanctions

David Osborne

14.1 Introduction

The use of sanctions in international politics has expanded during the last 20 years and there is no sign of this changing. The recent temporary and limited relaxation of European Union (EU) and United States (US) sanctions against Iran is an indication of the perceived success of sanctions, rather than the reverse.2 The escalating Russian sanctions have attracted much wider attention. The EU and US sanctions against Iran are not identical, nor are the respective temporary and limited relaxations identical, but they have many similar features. A common theme of both EU and US sanctions against Russia is the targeting of oil and gas projects. ‘Phase three’ sanctions imposed by the EU are directed at the sale, supply, transfer or export of specified technologies to Russian parties or for use in Russia – with particular reference to deep water oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration and production, and shale oil projects.3 The US Department of Commerce regulations also impose similar restrictions through the requirement for export licences for such technologies.4 In addition, US ‘sectoral’ sanctions introduced in July 2014 are directed at new debt and equity raising by a number of Russian banks and energy companies.5 EU phase three sanctions also target some Russian banks and energy companies in this way.6 The lists of banks and energy companies respectively targeted by US sectoral sanctions and EU phase three sanctions have some names in common but are not identical. Russia has retaliated with sanctions of its own in the form of import restrictions.7 Iranian sanctions have been specifically directed at shipping and marine insurance; this has given rise to a number

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of cases before the English courts. The Russian sanctions so far are not specifically directed at shipping but have the potential directly or indirectly to affect shipping activity, especially that which is ancillary to the targeted Russian oil and gas industries.

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