Steamship Mutual: Sanctions affecting Myanmar

Since Myanmar’s military coup in February 2021, the EU, UK, and US have placed a series of sanctions and export restrictions. The Steamship Mutual P&I Club informs about measures that may be of interest to shipowners/operators.

European Union

Asset freeze measures have been imposed against individuals and entities, including government ministers and other politicians and members of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). Both State- and privately-owned companies have also been sanctioned for providing resources and support to the Tatmadaw.

The EU also applies an embargo on arms and other equipment that can be used for internal repression, and dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police.

United Kingdom 

In January 2023 the UK government announced further sanctions on companies supplying the Myanmar Air Force with aviation fuel to carry out bombing campaigns against the civilian population.

There are prohibitions on the provision of military goods and military technology, dual-use goods or goods used for internal repression, technical assistance, armed personnel, financial services or funds or associated brokering services to or for the benefit of the Tatmadaw, or persons acting on its behalf or under its direction. Further information can be found here.

United States of America 

The US applies restrictions on exports and re-exports to Myanmar, and transfers (in-country) within Myanmar of sensitive items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as well as ‘military end use’ and ‘military end user’ restrictions.

In addition asset freeze measures are applied against individuals and entities, including those operating in the defense sector of the Myanmar economy and those involved with activities that undermine democracy in Myanmar or threaten its peace and stability. Further information can be found here.

In addition OFAC issued an alert on 24 March 2023 confirming that providing jet fuel to Burma’s military regime could be sanctionable under one or more designation grounds in Executive Order (E.O.) 14014, including:

  • operating in the defense sector of the Myanmar economy;
  • being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged or
  • attempted to engage in serious human rights abuses or in actions that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Myanmar;
  • being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the military or security forces of Myanmar or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14014;
  • materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14014.

Risk in connection with Aviation Fuel

The carriage of aviation fuel to Myanmar is gaining increasing prominence in the media, due to the risk that the fuel is used by the Myanmar government to provide power to military planes which are reported to have carried out bombing campaigns on the civilian population.  The carriage of aviation fuel to Myanmar could give rise to sanctions risks or breaches of export controls. Members are advised to exercise caution if considering this trade.

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