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Ship Classifier 'Disengages' From Iran

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

15 June 2012

French professional services provider Bureau Veritas has announced that it has decided to "disengage completely" from all marine activities related to Iran, specifically in relation to vessels operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and the National Iranian Tanker Company, irrespective of what flag state their vessels are registered with.

In announcing its decision, Bureau Veritas sought to clarify that its operations in Iran have always been limited to the provision of classification surveys, which assess operators' compliance with international standards in the area of safety and pollution. Without such international accreditation, vessels cannot legitimately operate to and from foreign ports.

Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines is a state-owned company which operates more than 100 ocean-going vessels, while the National Iranian Tanker Company, the world's third largest oil tanker company, is now entirely owned by Iranian pension funds, after it was privatized in 2009. However the company is a subsidiary of the government-owned and controlled corporation, National Iranian Oil Company.

The decision to cease dealings with the state-owned businesses mirrors that of Lloyd's Register in April.

Welcoming the announcement, Mark Wallace, the Chief Executive of United Against Nuclear Iran (UNAI), which appealed to the company to disengage with the nation, stated:

"We applaud Bureau Veritas for ending its certification of Iranian vessels. We accept Bureau Veritas's pledge to end all of its marine activities related to Iran, and we thank the company's executives for taking this quick and responsible action."

"The international community must focus specifically on the shipping industry, to deny the Iranian regime access to global trade and seaborne crude oil exports. Aligned nations should prohibit all international cargo shippers that service Iranian ports from shipping to the US, EU and elsewhere. By cutting off Iran's shipping access, the world can further isolate the regime and hamper its nuclear program and support for terrorists."

UANI contacted Bureau Veritas recently, noting that its certification activities were in violation of EU sanctions. UANI launched its Shipping Certification Campaign in early May.

TAGS: marine

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