Several countries have submitted a recommandation to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). This document suggests flagged-states to enhance surveillance of ship to ship (STS) transhipments, in their territorial waters. Countries should increase their inspections of vessels to limit illegal transfers of hydrocarbons.
Illegal ship to ship transhipments undermine international efforts to reduce pollution and impacts of sanctions. These STS transhipments also increased the risks of accidents because the vessels used are worn out. They are called in the medias the “dark or shadow fleet”.
Hundred of oil tankers are part of this dark fleet. They illegally transport oil from Russia or Iran.
An inquiry of the israeli media Haaretz revealed that in the last 6 months, Syria has received oil from 6 Iranian-flagged vessels. About 16 million liters of oil were delivered regardless of the sanctions imposed on Iranian oil nor Syrian’s government.
At least 17 refueling took place in the port of Baniyas (Syria). Tankers were supplying oil to smaller vessels. This allowed them to avoid empty returns and to conceal the source of the hydrocarbon.