Hong Kong to de-register 5 Iranian vessels and 14 others likely to go

By Curious

Hong Kong has de-registered 5 Iranian cargo vessels and a further fourteen are probably to follow after their classification society leave Iran due to sanctions imposed by the EU and the United States over its nuclear programme.
Tough sanctions have elaborated the conditions on Tehran that relies on its shipping trade for imports that include food, consumer and industrial goods.
The marine department of Hong Kong has requested the owners of nineteen dry bulk carrier vessel, operated by an Iranian company, to register their vessels elsewhere after the Korean Register of Shipping told earlier this year it wouldn't secure the vessels safety auditing.
“5 of the 19 vessels have de-registered under the request of their owners,” told Wong Sai Fat, general manager of the shipping register department.
The remainder is going to be deflagged ninety days after a notice issued earlier this month unless they may find a Hong Kong authorised classification society to sign their contract of compliance.
Those vessels would find it very hard to remain flagged in Hong Kong because all of the 9 societies authorised by the marine department are members of the International Association of Classification Societies.
Some of the thirteen IACS members, also and the China Classification Society (CCS), had previously secured Iran-related certification work, key to insurance and ports access for vessels, but have now ended that activity.
Hong Kong had been insisted by US pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran - UANI to de-flag the nineteen dry bulk vessels that the group told were owned, managed or operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line - IRISL and its associated firms.
In a response to United Against Nuclear Iran dated on the 9th of November, Wong stated it was of paramount importance to Hong Kong’s marine department in safeguarding the quality of Hong Kong vessels.
But Wong denied the action was related to the Iranian sanctions. “These vessels are neither owned nor operated by IRISL,” he added on Thursday.
IRISL, the top cargo carrier of the country, has been on a Western blacklist of sanctioned entities for many years. It denies any wrongdoing.
Wong wouldn't identify the nineteen vessels but added they had separate owners and were managed by the same Iranian firm.
About 2,000 ocean-going ships fly the Hong Kong flag and other than the nineteen vessels mentioned, none of the others are related to Iran, he added.
“Hong Kong has always exercised due alertness in enforcing our local legislation to effectively implementing as well as assuring full compliance with United Nations sanctions,” he stated.