GL Halts Iran Business [REPORT]

IRISL containers aboard a IRISL container ship in Isreal

Ship classification society Germanischer Lloyd has reportedly stopped verifying safety and environmental standards for ship’s belonging to Iran’s biggest shipping companies, Reuters reports.

GL is the latest class society to pledge an end to Iran operations in response to EU sanctions targetting the country’s disputed nuclear programme and pressure from the U.S.-based United Against Nuclear Iran group.

UANI last week sent a letter to the German ship classifier publicly stating that GL’s work in Iran is in violation of EU sanctions and could also effect the company’s relationship with the U.S. government.

The move by GL to halt Iran operations follows suit of other class societies that have already pulled the plug on certifying Iranian ships, specifically those of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).  In April Lloyd’s Register announced it had ended its work in the country and most recently Bureau Veritas did the same following a similar request by UANI.  DNV has also said it has ended its business in Iran.

As part of UANI’s “Shipping Campaign”, the pressure group has targeted members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) demanding that international shippers and certification firms end their business with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).  On its website, UANI has identified the Korean Register of Shipping, Nippon Kaiji Kayokai, and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping as still being active in Iran.  UANI has also identified a number of international shippers that reportedly service IRGC-controlled ports.

“The world must deny Iran’s access to international shipping, a move that would severely affect the regime given its dependence on global trade and seaborne crude oil exports”, six UANI board members wrote in a March 17 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.

“The European shipping industry is now set to help deny the Iranian regime critical access to global trade and seaborne crude oil exports,” wrote UANI CEO, U.S. Ambassador Mark D. Wallace following GL’s announcement.  “We call on shipping certification companies in other parts of the world to follow the lead of their European counterparts, and stop certifying Iranian vessels.”