Costas Paris and Joanne Chiu report in The Wall Street Journal that coming sanctions on Iran are already having an effect on how shipping companies are approaching the oil exporting country. They write:
It will be months before new U.S. sanctions against Iran take hold, but global shipping operators are already pulling back from the big oil-exporting nation.
The world’s two biggest shipping lines, Denmark’s Maersk Line and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., said they were winding down general cargo shipments, while tanker owners said they plan to move their vessels to other oil-producing countries in the Middle East or West Africa.
Even though the U.S. is alone in imposing the new sanctions, “I don’t think any shipping line that operates globally will be able to do business in Iran if the sanctions arrive in full force, the way they are intended,” said Soren Skou, chief executive of Maersk Line and parent company A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S.
Maersk and privately held MSC have been moving everything from electronics and household goods to food and heavy machinery to Iran. Mr. Skou said Maersk’s Iran operations are small, but with an Iranian population of 80 million, carriers heralded the lifting of earlier sanctions in 2016 as the opening of an important Middle East trade destination.
The Trump administration has given the shipping industry until early November to end operations in Iran. The sanctions also will affect ship-insurance premiums, lines of credit for moving cargo and fuel suppliers for Iranian ships and shipments.
Read more here.