Bolivia told that may de-flag Iranian ships

By Accidents

Bolivia could punish fifteen ships linked to Iran Shipping Lines off its shipping register just days after IRISL found Bolivian replacements for their Maltese and Cypriot flags.
IRISL, its many subsidiaries and their dozens of vessels have been sanctioned from the US, UN and the EU for their suspected role in carrying military equipment for Tehran.
Merchant vessels need a flag from national ship registries to have access to most of the world's ports and many fly those of other countries - especially Panama, Liberia, the Bahamas, Malta and Cyprus - to evade paying taxes in their home countries.
Although a 2010 United Nations resolution on dealing with Iranian government front companies, until recent days Maltese flags still fluttered at the masts of 48 of 144 IRISL ships identified by the EU, while Cypriot colors flew above 12.
Malta blacklisted one Iranian tanker, the M.T.Tour, after data the vessel had loaded up with sanctioned Syrian crude in late March, and threatened to deflag others found breaking European Union laws.
Malta and Cyprus have been under pressure to stop flagging Iranian government-linked ships, there has been a flurry of registrations in the last few months 1/2 a world away in landlocked Bolivia by 2 new front companies.
The chief of the Bolivian registry informed Reuters the authority was not aware that any of the ships registered over the last few weeks were Iranian, but if evidence of sanctions-violating ships emerged, Bolivia would remove them from the list.