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US sanctions three more tankers over Russia price cap breaches

Ofac alleges tankers Kazan, Ligovsky Prospect and NS Century engaged in the export of Russia oil at above the $60 per barrel cap after the price cap took effect

The US Treasury has slapped sanctions on three more ships it accuses of breaching the G7 price cap in a sign Western authorities are increasingly willing to crack down on shipping companies

THE US has slapped sanctions on another three tankers it accused of engaging in exporting Russian oil above the Group of Seven’s $60 price cap.

The ships are:

• Kazan (IMO: 9258002), 115,727 dwt, registered owner Kazan Shipping Incorporated

• Ligovsky Prospect (IMO 9256066), 114,640 dwt, registered owner Progress Shipping Company Limited

• NS Century (IMO: 9306782) 109,989 dwt, registered owner Gallion Navigation

All three ships are flagged to Liberia and registered with companies based in the United Arab Emirates. Lloyd’s List Intelligence lists their ultimate owner as Sovcomflot, Russia’s state-owned tanker company.

The sanctions means all property and interests of the companies and ships in the US, or in the control of US persons, are blocked and must be reported to the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Shipping companies and vessels participating in the Russian oil trade while using price cap coalition service providers should fully understand that we will hold them accountable for compliance,” deputy treasury secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.

“We are committed to maintaining market stability in spite of Russia’s war against Ukraine, while cutting into the profits the Kremlin is using to fund its illegal war and remaining unyielding in our pursuit of those facilitating evasion of the price cap.”

The G7 group of rich democracies, the EU and Australia decided to prohibit the import of Russian crude oil and petroleum products, and to block provision of Western shipping services to those shipping Russian oil if it is above the $60 cap.

It is intended to lessen Russia’s oil revenues, while keeping world oil supplies stable and avoiding price shocks in poor countries.

The latest moves come about as sanctions enforcers in the US and EU signalled a tough line on enforcement amid reports the cap has been widely flouted.

In October, the US announced sanctions against the Marshall Islands-flagged aframax tanker Yasa Golden Bosphorus (IMO: 9334038) and Liberia-flagged suezmax tanker SCF Primorye (IMO: 9421960).

Last week, the US Treasury sent notices to 30 shipmanagers worldwide asking for further information about 100 tankers suspected of shipping Russian oil in breach of sanctions, according to reports.

Reports have said Denmark could stop and inspect ships suspected of engaging in the trade.

The European Parliament said last week it wants to “substantially lower” the price cap and tighten enforcement, while banning Russian LNG and liquefied petroleum gas imports.

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