The U.S. is imposing penalties on a handful of Chinese shipping firms for continuing to carry Iranian oil after sanctions waivers lapsed in May.
China Concord Petroleum Co., Kunlun Shipping Co., Pegasus 88 Ltd., and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. have been charged with knowingly violating restrictions on handling and transacting Iranian petroleum. Additional restrictions were also imposed on five executives at the companies, as well as Kunlun Holding Co. and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co., which own or control one or more of the sanctioned entities.
The sanctions bar U.S. citizens and companies from dealing with the shipping companies, effectively blocking them from American banks at the heart of the global financial system. They also block any property or interests the firms or people have in the U.S. and forbid any American assets from being paid or transferred to them.
China, the world’s largest crude buyer, continues to import relatively small amounts of oil and petroleum products from the Persian Gulf nation in the face of the White House’s sanctions on the OPEC producer. It took 788,000 tons of crude from Iran in August, compared with a monthly average of 2.4 million tons last year, Chinese customs data show. The sanctions could complicate talks to end the U.S.-China trade war, which resume in Washington next month.