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News and knowledge

Sanctions - Iran


On 14 July 14 2015, the P5+1, the European Union (EU) and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which is commonly referred to as the ‘Iran deal’. On 16 January 2016 the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran has implemented its key nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA (known as “Implementation Day”) and as a result the UN, EU and US lifted their nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. 

The sanctions which were lifted relate to the financial, banking, energy, petrochemical, shipping, shipbuilding, and automotive sectors; Iran’s port operators; Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals; trade with Iran in graphite, raw or semi-finished metals such as aluminium, steel, coal and software for integrating industrial processes (but this is still subject to prior authorisation under the EU sanctions regime); and the provision of insurance, re-insurance and underwriting services in respect of these activities.  However the supply of military goods to Iran or equipment that may be used for internal repression remain prohibited.

The JCPOA also resulted in the delisting of hundreds of Iranian individuals and entities previously designated by the EU and US as sanctioned entities.

Only US “secondary” sanctions have been lifted i.e. which apply to conduct outside of US jurisdiction that involves non-US persons. US primary sanctions which apply to US persons (or entities owned or controlled by US persons) remain in effect. This means that US banks are still prohibited from processing any US dollar transactions in respect of Iran. Members should be aware that many non-US banks are cautious about processing payments relating to Iran in any currency which means that it may be difficult for the club to assist members in terms of paying claims or providing security.

The JCPOA also contains a “snap-back” provision which permits the re-imposition of EU and US sanctions against Iran in the event that Iran reneges on its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. Members should consider inserting sanctions clauses in their charterparties such as the BIMCO Sanctions Clause for Time Charterparties and the BIMCO Designated Entities Clause.

We remind members who are considering trading to Iran that they will need to exercise due diligence to ensure that the trade or operation is not subject to sanctions and that they do not trade with individuals or entities that are named on the US or EU sanctions lists as it is still prohibited to trade with them. 

The US Treasury and the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued detailed Guidance and FAQs relating to the lifting of US secondary sanctions under the JCPOA:

Guidance Relating to the Lifting of Certain Sanctions Pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Implementation Day

Frequently Asked Questions Relating to the Lifting of Certain U.S. Sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Implementation Day

The US sanctions list

The EU Consolidated sanctions list


Standard Bulletin Special Edition: Sanctions, July 2013

Sanctions July 2013 resize

Standard Bulletin Special Edition: Sanctions, August 2012

August 2012

Standard Bulletin Special Edition: Sanctions, December 2010

December 2010

Circulars issued by the club

14 April 2016, Standard Club circular - Iran Trading, P&I cover

22 March 2016, Standard Club circular - Iran trading P&I cover update

23 February 2016, Standard Club circular - Iran trading, P&I cover

20 January 2016, Standard Club Circular - Iran Sanctions lifting of certain sanctions under the JCPOA

25 July 2014, Standard Club Circular- Iran sanctions, extension of sanctions relief under the Joint Plan of Action

28 January 2014, Standard Club Circular- US-EU Iran sanctions – further update

17 January 2014, Standard Europe Circular, Iran sanctions update

9 July 2010, Standard Bermuda Circular: Sanctions Against Iran And Impact On Club Cover

Web alerts issued by the club

Update on President Trump's refusal to recertify the Iran deal 

Iran Sanctions: “Implementation Day” announced which marks the lifting of EU and US sanctions under the JCPOA 

Joint Plan of Action to ease sanctions against Iran, 29 November 2013

EU sanctions against Iran, 26 June 2013

US tightens Iran sanctions, 4 June 2013

The International Group publishes further guidance on Iran sanctions , 31 January 2013

US Iran Sanctions significantly expanded by the enactment of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012, 18 January 2013

The EU has issued fresh sanctions against Iran, 17 October 2012

New US sanction law tightens Iran prohibitions, 11 October 2012