According to a Lloyds List report, the EU is ready to impose sanctions on Iraq next month, which include an outright ban against Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), effectively prohibiting Iran's national shipping line vessels from entering any European port., effectively prohibiting all IRISL ships from entering any European port, Eyefortransport reports.
Brussels is still in the process of drafting the punitive measures it plans to apply to Iran, and their precise content is yet to be disclosed. An announcement is expected on July 26th.
Earlier this month, the US imposed additional sanctions on Iran, naming 41 new entities and individuals, including one scientist and enterprises linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and the defence industry, as well as banks and IRISL, which also owns, controls or is represented by IRISL Benelux, Irano Hind Shipping Co and South Shipping Line Iran.
Clare Hatcher, a consultant at Clyde & Co, said that if the EU declares sanctions against IRISL vessels, then it will become illegal for anyone to bring those vessels into European ports.
However, there are also a number of queries about how a blanket ban would work. A security expert pointed out that there is such a thing as chartering. "If Iran wishes to continue to export, the only way you could stop it would be to put a complete ban on all vessels. But how do you know what the cargo is, and where it is coming from, until the manifest is produced?" He also questioned who would police any potential sanction-busting, and how.
Meanwhile, IRISL's agents have been instructed and service providers have been advised to co-operate with customs in all destinations served by its vessels. Customers have been advised to comply with UN sanctions.