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COMPLIANCE
- Trade Sanctions Policy

HSEQ

History


 
 

POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAWS

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It is the policy of Ben Line Agencies, its subsidiaries and affiliates (together, “BLA” or the “Company”) that the Company and its employees must comply fully with all applicable laws, including laws of the United Nations, United States, the Member States of the European Union, Japan, and other countries governing international trade transactions and activities. It is the responsibility of each BLA employee to become familiar with and follow this Policy and the Procedures outlined below.

It is the responsibility of every director, officer and employee of the Company to assure compliance with this Policy. It is the responsibility of the Compliance Officer to assure that this Policy is made known to all employees, that appropriate training occurs with respect to this Policy, and that all questions or issues raised with respect to this policy and compliance with its requirements are fully addressed. Responsibility for the actual compliance with the requirements of this Policy rests with the management of the Company. All Company personnel with business management responsibility, from the Managing Director down to subordinate members of Company management, shall be responsible for assuring the compliance with the requirements of this Policy by Employees and Business Partners for whom they have supervisory responsibility. The Board of Directors periodically shall assess the manner in which Company senior management is discharging such responsibility, and Company senior management periodically shall assess the manner in which subordinate members of Company management similarly are discharging such responsibility.

Any questions concerning these laws or BLA’s Policy or Procedures should be directed in the first instance to the Compliance Officer, or, alternatively, to the Managing Director:

Dickon Addis
Compliance Officer/Finance Director
+65 6420 9020
dickon.addis@benlineagencies.com

Duncan JM Ramsay
Managing Director
+65 6420 9122
djmramsay@benline.com.sg

1. Economic Sanctions Laws
The United Nations, United States, the Member States of the European Union, Japan and other countries have adopted economic sanctions laws that restrict activities and transactions with, in or involving certain specified sanctioned countries, their nationals, and other designated entities and individuals. The restrictions on the sale and/or shipment of products, as well as related activities, often apply regardless of the type of products being sold or shipped, or the location from which the sale or shipment originates.

Accordingly, before agreeing to provide any products or services to a particular customer, BLA personnel first must confirm that none of the parties involved – including the customer and, if known and applicable, the customer’s customer – is on or covered by any of the lists on the linked Internet websites provided below.

Please note that these lists are revised and updated periodically. Therefore it is essential to consult the lists at the time of the proposed transaction.

If any transaction party is on or covered by one of these lists, the transaction cannot be pursued further. The rejection of the enquiry must be immediately logged with the Compliance Officer.

1.1 Sanctioned Countries
As of the date of these Procedures, transactions and activities with, in, or involving the following countries (“Sanctioned Countries”) – including with entities located in these Sanctioned Countries or with nationals of these Sanctioned Countries – are subject to economic sanctions programs maintained and administered by one or more governments:

Group 1: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria
Group 2: Balkans, Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, Russia,1 Somalia, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Sanctioned Countries in Group 1 above are subject to extensive restrictions. No trade in any form to/from these countries, no business with anyone or company connected to this countries, including those knowingly trading. If there is any link, stated or implied, the transaction must be rejected and logged with the Compliance Officer.

Sanctioned Countries in Group 2 above are subject to less extensive restrictions that can vary significantly. The current list of Sanctioned Countries can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/Programs.aspx. Country sanctions may appear individually or be included under OFAC headings such as “Ukraine” or “Terrorists.” The majority of sanctions are targeted at specified individuals and entities (“Specially Designated Nationals” or “SDNs”)

Transactions and activities with, in or involving Sanctioned Countries -- including with entities located in Sanctioned Countries or nationals of Sanctioned Countries wherever located -- whether directly or indirectly, are not permitted without advance written clearance from the Compliance Officer. As a general matter, written clearance will not be provided for prohibited transactions and activities with, in or involving Sanctioned Countries. Due to variations in sanctions programs, consultation with the Compliance Officer is encouraged. Attachment 1 to these Procedures contains summaries of economic sanctions programs that may apply to activities of the Company.

1.2 Specially Designated nationals
The U.S. Government prohibits transactions involving certain individuals and entities deemed to be affiliated with, or supportive of, the Sanctioned Countries, or otherwise deemed to have engaged in illicit activities. This list includes terrorists and narcotics traffickers as well as shipping companies and their agents. The current list of Specially Designated Nationals lists thousands of individuals and entities; it can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.treasury.gov/resourcecenter/ sanctions/SDN-List/Pages/default.aspx (a search facility is also available at http://sdnsearch.ofac.treas.gov/ allowing searched by names).

Transactions with or involving Specially Designated Nationals, whether directly or indirectly, must be rejected and logged with the Compliance Officer.

2 Export Control Laws
Complementing the economic sanctions laws, the United States, the Member States of the European Union, and many other countries have adopted export control laws that regulate the export and reexport of goods, software, and technology to specified destinations and end-users for specified purposes and applications. These laws apply to intra-company transfers as well as to dealings with third parties. Export control laws may prohibit a particular export or re-export of goods, software or technology.

2.1 Restricted and Prohibited End Users and End Uses

Governmental authorization might be required before sending shipments to specified destinations or end-users on various government lists. Accordingly, before agreeing to send shipments to a particular customer, BLA personnel first must confirm that none of the parties to the transaction – including the customer and, if known, the customer’s customer – is on or covered by any of the lists on the Internet websites provided below.

Please note that these lists are revised and updated periodically. Therefore it is essential to consult the lists at the time of the proposed transaction.

If any party to the transaction is on or covered by one of these lists, the Compliance Officer must be contacted immediately before proceeding with the transaction. The transaction may not be pursued without advance written clearance from the Compliance Officer.


2.2 Denied Persons

The U.S. Government prohibits transactions involving certain specified individuals and entities ("Denied Persons") deemed to have violated U.S. export control laws. The current list of Denied Persons can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.bis.doc.gov/dpl/thedeniallist.asp.

Transactions with or involving Denied Persons, whether directly or indirectly, are not permitted without advance written clearance from the Compliance Officer.


2.3 Regulated Entities

As of the date of these Guidelines, the U.S. Government regulates transactions with certain specified entities ("Regulated Entities") located in the following countries:

• China (PRC), India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, and United Arab Emirates

The current list of Regulated Entities can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.bis.doc.gov/Entities/Default.htm.

Transactions with or involving Regulated Entities, whether directly or indirectly, are not permitted without advance written clearance from the Compliance Officer.


2.4 Unverified Persons

As of the date of these Guidelines, the U.S. Government has identified certain entities ("Unverified Persons") located in the following countries:

• Azerbaijan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

The current list of Unverified Persons can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.bis.doc.gov/enforcement/unverifiedlist/unverified_parties.html.

Transactions with or involving Unverified Persons, whether directly or indirectly, require additional investigation and due diligence and are not permitted without advance written clearance from the Compliance Officer.


2.5 Suspicious Transactions/Weapons Proliferation

Additional investigation and due diligence also is required in any circumstance where you believe or suspect that BLA might be involved in a shipment to an inappropriate destination or end-user or for an inappropriate end-use.

Failing to ask customary or appropriate questions, or otherwise cutting off or restricting the normal flow of information, does not excuse you from these requirements. You should pay attention to, and not ignore, certain circumstances, often referred to as “red flags,” that warrant additional investigation and due diligence before proceeding. These “red flags” include, but are not limited to:

1. The customer is reluctant to offer information about the end-user.
2. Shipments are planned for unusual or out-of-the-way destinations.
3. The shipping route is abnormal.


The current complete list of circumstances that should be viewed as “red flags” can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.bis.doc.gov/enforcement/redflags.htm

In any situation where you believe or suspect that BLA might be involved in a shipment to an inappropriate destination or end-user or for an inappropriate end use, you must contact the Compliance Officer immediately and in any event before proceeding with the transaction. In such cases, the transaction may not be pursued without advance written clearance from the Compliance Officer.


3 Anti-Boycott Law

U.S. export control laws and associated regulations contain provisions generally prohibiting U.S. persons and certain of their non-U.S. affiliates from cooperating in third country boycotts that the United States does not support, such as the Arab League boycott of Israel. Under certain circumstances even the receipt of a request to cooperate in a boycott must be reported to the U.S. Government.2 Similarly, the Internal Revenue Code requires that U.S. persons, including U.S. corporations, submit annually to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service a report detailing (1) their operations in or related to boycotting countries and (2) their receipt of boycott requests and any agreements to comply with such boycott requests.

The anti-boycott prohibitions and the reporting requirements are broad and complex. Accordingly, it is imperative that BLA personnel who receive boycott-related requests contact the Compliance Officer prior to responding in any way to such requests.

BLA personnel should be aware of the possibility that they might receive a boycott-related request concerning the following types of activities:

• Refusing to do business with an entity in a boycotted country or with any other entity at the request of a boycotting country;

• Taking discriminatory action on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin;
• Providing information about race, religion, sex or national origin;
• Providing information about business relationships with boycotted countries or blacklisted persons;
• Providing information about association with charitable and fraternal organizations; and
• Implementing letters of credit that contain boycott-related conditions or requirements.

Boycott-related requests involving any of these activities may be oral or written, and may appear as provisions in, for example, a contract, letter of credit or other agreement that calls for boycott-related information or action.

The current list of countries that the U.S. Government believes require or may require participation in, or cooperation with, an international boycott includes:

• Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

The list is published quarterly by the U.S. Department of Treasury and can be accessed on the Internet at https://www.federalregister.gov under “List of Countries Requiring Cooperation with an International Boycott”.

In any situation where you believe or suspect that you have received a boycott-related request, whether written or oral, you must contact the Compliance Officer immediately and in any event before responding to the request in any way. Any written request should be forwarded to the Compliance Officer, and any oral request and the manner in which it was received should be described in writing. In such cases, you may not respond to the request unless and until the Compliance Officer determines whether and how to respond.

Any questions concerning these laws or BLA’s policy or procedures should be directed to the
Compliance Officer.
Dickon Addis
Compliance Officer/Finance Director
+65 6420 9020
dickon.addis@benlineagencies.com


Potentially Applicable Sanctions as of 4 September 2013

This Attachment provides an overview of certain sanctions programs currently administered by one or more entities that may apply to the shipping industry generally and BLA in particular.

The economic sanctions summary information provided herein is current as of 18 June 2014 and is subject to change at any time. If you have any questions about the sanctions programs, or about any current or contemplated Company activity, please contact the Compliance Officer.


1. Iran

The United Nations Security Council has issued four resolutions against Iran in the last five years. Pursuant to these restrictions, certain Iranian individuals and entities have been specifically designated and are subject to a travel ban and asset freeze. The entities designated by the United Nations are involved in nuclear proliferation or human rights abuses and include financial institutions in Iran.

The United States has severely restricted trade with Iran and imposes prohibitions on the activities of both the U.S. and non-U.S. individuals and entities in this regard.3 As summarized below, whilst the sanctions generally target Iran’s energy, shipping, and banking sectors, given the broad scope and serious nature of the potential penalties, any dealings with or involving Iran, directly or indirectly, cannot be pursued under any circumstances.

It should be noted that the Joint Plan of Action signed on 24 November 2013 in Geneva between the P5+14 and The Islamic Republic of Iran and Provision for limited, temporary and targeted sanctions relief has not changed BLA’s policy of “no trade in any form to/from Iran, no business with anyone or company connected to this country, including those knowingly trading. BLA will not have any dealings with this country or anyone connected with this country.”


1.1 Shipping, Energy, and Transportation Restrictions

BLA should not own, operate, insure, or charter a vessel that transports:
• Iranian-origin goods, or goods owned or controlled by the Government of Iran;
• goods, services, or technology to Iran;
• goods to any person with reason to know that the goods will then be shipped to Iran;
• goods to any person with reason to know that the goods will be used in the production of, or commingled with, or incorporated into goods shipped to Iran;
• crude oil from Iran;6 and/or
• goods, technology, or services from the U.S., or by a U.S. person, to Iran or the Government of Iran;
• any goods or services used in connection with the energy, shipping, or shipbuilding sectors of Iran.

In addition, concealing the Iranian origin of crude oil or refined petroleum products, and concealing a vessel’s ownership, operation or control by the government of Iran, the National Iranian Tanker Company (“NITC”) or the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), are prohibited.8


1.2 Other Restrictions
In addition to Iranian energy, shipping and transport restrictions, BLA should not:
• make financial investments in Iran that enables Iran to develop its petroleum resources;
• sell or provide to Iran refined petroleum products or goods, ser vices, or technology which could contribute to Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum products;
• purchase or acquire petroleum, petroleum products, or petrochemical products from Iran;
• participate in a joint venture relating to the development of petrol eum resources outside of Iran, if the Government of Iran is a substantial partner or investor; and/or
• provide claims handling services for the NITC or the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

1.3 Payments

In addition to restrictions that potentially apply to BLA for the aforementioned activities, the Company should be aware that U.S. banks are forbidden from facilitating any of the above mentioned activities. Since 2008, U.S. banks have been barred from handling any indirect transactions with non-U.S. banks that are processing transactions on behalf of Iranian banks. Additionally, recent legislation bars U.S. banks from opening new correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts - and requires the cancellation of existing accounts - with non-U.S. banks that process “significant transactions” with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Council (IRGC), or any of its agents or affiliates that are sanctioned under U.S. law, any entities sanctioned pursuant to U.S. laws or executive orders, entities designated under United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and entities that assist the IRGC or Central Bank of Iran acquire weapons of mass destruction. These restrictions also apply to banks that facilitate transactions with Iran’s energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors, including with NIOC, NITC, and IRISL.

In addition to U.S. banks subject to restrictions, European and other banks with significant exposure to the U.S. financial system are also sensitive with respect to payments to sanctioned entities and countries.


2 Myanmar (Burma)

U.S. persons, including U.S. banks, are now authorized to make new investments in Burma. The new investments, however, cannot be made with the Burmese Ministry of Defense or any state or nonstate armed group (including the military).9 Similarly, no financial services can be exported to these groups in Burma.

In conducting transactions with any entities in or from Burma, extensive due diligence should be undertaken to ensure no involvement of a Burmese SDN-listed entity. While the U.S. Government for many years imposed significant restrictions on trade with Burma (Myanmar), these have been eased significantly in recent years.


3 Russia & Ukraine

Starting in March 2014, the United States, European Union, Canada, Australia, and other countries designated individuals and entities in Ukraine and Russia viewed as responsible for the situation in Ukraine. Under U.S. law, any assets of any individual or entity named on the designated lists that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction – or that comes under the control or possession of U.S. persons - must be blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited in dealing in such assets. In conducting transactions with any entities in or from Russia or Ukraine, extensive due diligence should be undertaken to ensure no involvement of a Russian or Ukrainian Specially Designated National.

The United States also authorized, but to date has not implemented, broad sector-specific regulations against Russia. Industries that may be sanctioned under the applicable executive order include: financial services, energy, metals and mining, engineering, and defence and related materiel. These sanctions are part of a coordinated strategy to prevent further escalation in Ukraine. The situation in Ukraine is rapidly evolving and should be monitored closely from a compliance perspective.


4 Sudan

The U.S. has maintained economic sanctions against Sudan since 1997. The U.S. has blocked all property and interests in property of the Government of Sudan that is located in the U.S. or within the control of a U.S. person. Although OFAC has placed approximately 200 entities on the SDN List that meet the definition of the Government of Sudan, the List is not exhaustive. Thus, thorough due diligence should be performed on any transaction with foreign nationals in or from Sudan to ensure that such foreign nationals are not owned or controlled by an SDN or otherwise subject to sanctions.

Additionally, U.S. persons are prohibited from executing any contract that supports an industrial, commercial, public utility, or government project in Sudan.


4.1 Export to Sudan and Import to the U.S.
The United States prohibits exports or re-exports to Sudan of any goods or service from the U.S. or by a U.S. person. A person violates this trade sanction by facilitating (e.g., brokering) the export or reexport of goods from or to Sudan (from or to any location). Humanitarian donations are an exception to these export restrictions.

4.2 Transportation Sanctions
U.S. sanctions prohibit any U.S. person from transporting cargo to or from Sudan. Moreover, all activities (including transport) and transactions by U.S. persons relating to the petroleum and petrochemical industries in Sudan are prohibited. U.S. persons are also prohibited from facilitating transactions or activities undertaken by non-U.S. persons.

4.3 Exception for the Republic of South Sudan

It is important to remember that certain sanctions that apply to Sudan do not apply to the Republic of South Sudan. For example, virtually all activities and transactions relating to the petroleum and petrochemical industries in the Republic of South Sudan are authorized. This means that a company can transport goods, including petroleum, from the Republic of South Sudan, and a company can transport goods through Sudan to or from South Sudan.

5 Syria
The U.S. considers Syria a state sponsor of terrorism. As such, the U.S. has imposed a series of economic sanctions against Syria over the last decade. Recently, the U.S. has strengthened sanctions against Syria and has indicated that additional sanctions may be imposed.

5.1 Transporting Restrictions
Most notably, U.S. sanctions prohibit any dealing (including brokering or transporting) in petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin, by a U.S. person wherever located. In addition, a U.S. person cannot facilitate, finance, or approve a transaction by a foreign person that would be prohibited if performed by a U.S. person or within the U.S. Any foreign person who violates or causes a violation of this, or any other sanction relating to Syria, is also subject to sanctions. Additionally, a person is subject to sanctions if they transfer goods to Syria that are likely to be used to commit human rights abuses.

5.2 Export to Syria and Import to the U.S.

The United States prohibits exports or re-exports to Syria of any goods or service from the U.S. or by a U.S. person. A person violates this trade sanction by facilitating (e.g., brokering) the export or reexport of goods from or to Syria (from or to any location). Humanitarian donations are an exception to these export restrictions.

6 North Korea
The United Nations imposes sanctions on a variety of imports, exports, and goods in transit of any item, material, equipment, goods and technology related to nuclear programs, ballistic missile programs and other weapons of mass destruction programs of North Korea. Separately, the United Nations also restricts the sale of certain luxury goods to North Korea. The U.S. imposes targeted sanctions on North Korea in an effort to contain the country’s weapons program.

6.1 Transactions Involving North Korean Vessels
U.S. persons are prohibited from registering vessels in North Korea and obtaining authorization for a vessel to fly the North Korean flag. In addition, U.S. sanctions prohibit owning, leasing, operating, or insuring any vessel flagged by North Korea.

6.2 Export to North Korea and Import to the U.S.
The only restrictions on exports to North Korea specifically relate to transactions involving parties whose property is blocked (and who will appear on the SDN List). As to the import of goods into the U.S., current sanctions prohibit the import of any goods (including component goods) from North Korea into the U.S., either directly or indirectly.

 

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