sanctions imageOver the years, economic sanctions laws and regulations have become increasingly more complex, numerous, and have had a significant effect upon the shipping industry. Sanctions have also had a major impact not only on shipping operations, but also on financial institutions and insurance companies, including on P&I clubs worldwide, serving the shipping industry. Very recently, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Department of State and the U.S. Coast Guard jointly issued a Sanctions Advisory for the Maritime Industry and the Energy and Metals sectors. The focus of the Advisory was to highlight tools for these industries to counter current and emerging trends related to illicit shipping and sanctions evasion. The Advisory evidences the U.S. Government's commitment to prevent sanctions evasion, smuggling, criminal activity, and facilitation of terrorist activities with a focus on Iran, North Korea and Syria. Ultimately, the U.S. Government emphasizes the need for the maritime community to assess their sanctions risk, and as necessary, to implement compliance controls to address any identified gaps in their compliance programs.

The document, Economic Sanctions - Compliance Guidance, available in English, new Mandarin, and traditional Mandarin provides guidance on sanctions related resources which can be utilized to not only foster and encourage general awareness of sanctions issues, but also to enable Members to develop their own internal compliance policies and procedures and to appreciate the interplay between such sanctions laws and their potential effect on a Member's P&I, Charterers and/or FD&D coverage.

Members are urged to know how to recognize sanctions issues and consult legal counsel when their compliance program and due diligence investigation into a particular transaction or contemplated voyage raises any sanctions related concern. Then, after completing such due diligence, with respect to whether cover is available from the American Club for the transaction or voyage in question, Members should contact the Managers prior to the voyage to confirm whether the performance of the contemplated transaction or voyage may or may not prejudice their P&I cover.

It is hoped that, through such internal compliance and due diligence investigation by the Member, when combined with its consulting legal counsel and maintaining close communication with the American Club to address any issues regarding cover, this resource will assist the American Club's Membership to better navigate these complex issues and reduce overall exposure to sanctions related problems and risks.

In an effort to assist our Members in their assessment of sanctions risks, the Compliance Department has created a Due Diligence Questionnaire , the purpose of which is to elicit relevant information pertaining to persons and entities linked to a voyage and the cargo transported.


This brief economic sanctions compliance guidance has been prepared by the American Club to assist Members in complying with sanctions laws applicable to them and to the American Club.  This guidance does not constitute and should not be construed as legal advice or a determination by the American Club as to the availability of cover for any specific case.   The American Club urges Members to obtain independent legal advice regarding the applicability of sanctions laws to them and with respect to their compliance obligations under such laws.

Relevant American Club Circulars and related documents






  Russia & Ukraine (Crimea)

  North Korea



  Other (Burma/Myanmar, Ivory Coast, etc.)