Countries Scramble to De-Register Iranian Vessels

September 30, 2012

Publication Type: 

  • International Enforcement Actions

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 


Wisconsin Project Staff

An increasing number of countries are refusing to flag vessels affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), and are revoking flags from IRISL vessels, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. In June, Sierra Leone revoked its flag from the Amin, a vessel owned by the U.N. sanctioned IRISL affiliate Irano-Hind. Since then, Sierra Leone has revoked the flags of a further eight IRISL vessels. In August, Tuvalu and Tanzania de-registered dozens of Iranian tankers owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC). The semi-autonomous Tanzanian region of Zanzibar said in August that it too would deregister NITC-owned tankers, which it claims were registered by a Dubai shipping agent without government approval. NITC was blacklisted by the United States in July and accused of using front companies and other deceptive methods in order to evade sanctions.

In September 2012, Moldova announced that it had de-registered about twelve IRISL vessels.


[1] "Global Advisory to the Maritime Industry Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines," Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 19, 2012.

[2] "UPDATE 2-Tanzania Confirms it Reflagged 36 Iranian Ships, to Deregister Them," Reuters, August 12, 2012.

[3] "Tuvalu Ship Registry," Ministry of Transport and Communication, Funafuti, Tuvalu, August 16, 2012.

[4] "Howard Berman Statement on Tuvalu's Decision to Deregister Vessels Owned by Iran, Ending Reflagging Effort," U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, August 21, 2012.

[5] "United States Increases Sanctions Against The Government Of Iran And Its Proliferation Networks," U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 12, 2012.

[6] Benoit Faucon and Colum Murphy, "Iran Shippers Face Difficulty Dodging Sanctions," The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2012.