Top container shipping lines reviewing Iran operations

Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

LONDON (Reuters) - The world’s top two container shipping groups Maersk Line and MSC are reviewing their Iran operations after the United States withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement with Tehran.

The 2015 agreement, worked out by the United States, five other world powers and Iran, lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits to its nuclear program.

U.S. President Donald Trump also instructed his administration to re-impose U.S. sanctions after a winding down period.

“MSC is reviewing its services, operations and business relationships to understand if any are impacted and will comply with the timetable set out by the U.S. government,” the private Swiss-headquartered group said in a statement on Friday.

MSC suspended services between 2012 and 2014 and when they were resumed the line used small, regional third-party feeder ships to carry cargo between Iran and MSC’s transshipment hub at Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates.A shipping source said MSC had already stopped taking bookings for certain cargoes that would be impacted by the sanctions program.The U.S. Treasury said this week Washington was imposing sanctions on the direct or indirect sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of graphite, raw, or semi-finished metals such as aluminum and steel, coal, and software for integrating industrial processes.Denmark’s Maersk Line said separately it had ceased acceptance of the specific cargoes listed by the U.S. Treasury this week.“Our presence in Iran is limited. We will monitor the developments to assess any impact on our activities,” Maersk Line added.

The group also used feeder services to Iran from Jebel Ali.