The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated six companies and four vessels for violating existing UN sanctions by engaging in the prohibited North Korean coal trade.
US companies are prohibited from dealing with the designated companies and vessels, and foreign companies and financial institutions that transact with the designated companies and vessels may be subject to sanctions, OFAC said.
OFAC designated China-based companies Weihai Huijiang Trade, Always Smooth and Good Siblings for operating vessels that loaded coal in North Korea. The Asian Bridge loaded coal and underwent repairs in North Korea while under the control of Wehai and Good Siblings, and the Lucky Star loaded coal in North Korea while under the control of Wehai and Always Smooth. Both vessels were designated as well.
OFAC designated Hong Kong-based Silver Bridge Shipping and its vessel the Calm Bridge because the vessel loaded coal in the Wonsan Port in North Korea.
OFAC designated Vietnam-based Thinh Cuong and its vessel the Star 18 because the vessel loaded coal in the Songnim Port in North Korea.
The designated vessels were all general cargo vessels between 6,300 dwt and 8,000 dwt, and their designation will have little impact on freight rates, because they are a negligible portion of the total global fleet.
Additionally, OFAC designated Korea Daizin Trading, which operates in North Korea and Vietnam, because it exported coal from North Korea.
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