US issues guidance to address illicit shipping and sanctions evasion practices

On 14 May 2020, the U.S. Departments of State and Treasury, and the U.S. Coast Guard, issued a global advisory to alert multiple industry sectors, including the maritime industry, to deceptive shipping practices used to evade sanctions imposed on Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

The advisory  includes a detailed set of best practices for private industry to consider adopting to mitigate exposure to sanctions risk.

The advisory updates and expands upon previous advisories issued by the US government. It is intended to provide actors that utilize the maritime industry for trade with information on and tools to counter current and emerging trends in sanctions evasion related to shipping and associated services. The advisory highlights common deceptive shipping practices used with respect to countries like Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Syria.