Shipping Looks Set To Escape Myanmar Sanctions — For Now
International Trade Partner Jonathan Epstein spoke with TradeWinds about how shipping companies trading with Myanmar are attempting to avoid sanctions following the February coup. Up to now, the U.S. and its Western allies have restricted their sanctions to the military leaders.
“I think it highly unlikely we will see the U.S. imposing sanctions prohibiting U.S. banks from engaging in or facilitating transactions with all [Myanmarese] entities,” Mr. Epstein said. “However, we could see specific banks in Burma [Myanmar] sanctioned and action by the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regarding anti-money laundering risks that make it much more difficult to engage in U.S. dollar transactions relating to Burma — because U.S. and non-U.S. banks will, for risk-management purposes, be more cautious or even outright refuse to handle transactions related to Burma.” He said the biggest risk for LNG shipments and ships fixed on charters is that a number of companies that are owned or controlled by the military elites in Myanmar will be placed on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. “That is why we suggest companies conduct [due] diligence and make contingency plans now and track designations carefully,” he said.