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Maersk (AP Moller-Maersk Group)

Maersk (AP Moller-Maersk Group)

Industry: 
Energy, Shipping
Value of USG Contracts: 
4284
Symbol: 
OMX:MAERSKB.CO
States: 
NJ
Country: 
Denmark
Contact Information: 
Sources: 

"Tougher conditions led to AP Moller-Maersk's Maersk Line, the world's biggest container company, pulling out entirely from Iran last year, joining an exodus including the world's number two and three MSC and CMA CGM and smaller groups like Germany's Hapag-Lloyd." (Reuters, "Iran faces fresh trade heat as more shipping firms exit," 5/7/2013) 

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"Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, has stopped port calls to Iran as Western sanctions pressure on the Islamic Republic mounts, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday... 'Maersk Line has ceased to call in Iran,' a spokeswoman for the unit of Danish group A.P. Moller-Maersk said... 'To date, Maersk Line's business in Iran has involved transporting foodstuffs and other goods, for example vehicles, for the benefit of the general civilian population. It is with regret that it is ceasing these activities,' the spokeswoman said. 'Maersk Line will maintain a dormant business entity in Iran and will look to resume business should the sanctions regime be eased.'... Since 2011, it has called at the small northern Iranian container port of Bushehr. The spokeswoman said Maersk Line halted loading cargo bound for Bushehr on September 30 and stopped loading outbound cargo from Bushehr on September 24. 'Maersk Line ceased its acceptance to all other ports than Bushehr in 2011,' the spokeswoman said. 'The discontinuation of services to and from Bushehr unfortunately reflects the difficulties servicing Iran as a whole.'" (Reuters, "Top shipping line Maersk says halts Iran service," 10/9/2012)

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"Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller Maersk says it will talk to Vitol to determine whether one of its tankers was used by the trading house to ship Iranian fuel oil. The Maersk Producer, a tanker chartered by Vitol from Maersk, received a fuel oil cargo of Iranian origin on Sept. 8, according to a document seen by Reuters. The cargo was transferred aboard the Danish tanker from Vitol's floating storage off Malaysia, the document shows, and shipped to storage in Singapore. Vitol admitted last week its Bahrain office had bought the Iranian fuel oil but said it had now ordered a stop to all trade with Iran, which is under European and U.S. oil and financial sanctions. Based in Switzerland and trading the oil from Bahrain, Vitol did not contravene sanctions... 'Not at any point did we know that the vessel would be used to transport oil under embargo and we will bring this up for discussion with Vitol at the highest level,' said Per Juul, managing director of the agent for Maersk, in an e-mail response to questions. 'If it is confirmed that it was Iranian oil the consequences will have to be discussed with Vitol...we have contacted our insurance company about this issue.' A spokesman for Vitol said the company would 'cooperate fully' in any talks with Maersk." (Reuters, "Danish shipper asks Vitol if tanker used for Iran oil," 10/3/2012)

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"Danish shipping and oil company A.P. Moller-Maersk has suspended new oil tanker deals with Iran due to European Union sanctions which will embargo imports of oil from the Islamic Republic into the bloc, a senior Maersk official told Reuters on Wednesday... 'As of 24 Jan 2012, all new fixtures involving Iran and all carriages of products with Iranian origin have been suspended,' said Henrik Ramskov, chief operating officer with Maersk Tankers, a unit of the Maersk group and one of the world's top tanker operators... A Maersk spokesman said its tanker unit made 14 Iran related voyages in 2011, 'representing a miniscule part of their activity.'" (Reuters, "Maersk suspends oil tanker trade deals with Iran," 2/8/2012)

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"The U.S. move led the world's top container player Maersk Line to suspend operations at several Iranian ports including Bandar Abbas... Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk , which owns Maersk Line, said it was still engaged in business with Iran including the transport of provisions, natural gas and crude oil as well as bunker fuel supply to Maersk-related vessels, in compliance with sanctions. 'The group has and continues to update a comprehensive compliance program involving all relevant foreign trade controls,' it said." (Reuters, "Sanctions blowback crippling Iran's shipping trade," 12/1/2011)

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"The world's largest container firm suspended operations at several Iranian ports on Thursday, potentially disrupting critical food shipments as it complies with tightening U.S. sanctions. Maersk line, a unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, manages several refrigerated ships and container vessels that transport food to the country, including wheat, rice and bananas from Asia. Shipments could be delayed for weeks as Maersk adjusts its operations in the Middle East, analysts said... The United States last week blacklisted Tidewater Middle East Co. and prohibited U.S. entities from any transactions with the major Iranian port operator, which manages over 90 percent of the country's container operations. 'Maersk Line is committed to complying with all relevant foreign trade controls and sanctions programmes,' said Morten Engelstoft, chief operating officer for Maersk Line in a statement on Thursday. 'In this connection, Maersk Line has decided to cease acceptance of, business to and from the Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas, Bandar Khomeini and Asaluyeh.' ... Maersk operates in other Iranian ports and could also divert shipments to Dubai, partnering with other companies that are not bound by U.S. sanctions aimed at curtailing Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme... Tidewater-managed ports have been used to export arms or handle related material in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the U.S. Treasury said last week. International sanctions are aimed at curtailing Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programme." (Reuters. "World's top shipper suspends some Iran ops over sanctions," 6/30/11)

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In July 2010, Maersk paid a $3.1 million fine to the US government for violating embargoes against both Iran and Sudan (Fox News, "Danish Shipping Firm Denies Violating US Sanctions Against Iran", 8/2/2010).

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Maersk Line lists two Iranian offices on its website, one in Tehran and one in Bandar Abbas, registered to the company Maersk Iran A.S. (Maersk Line Company Website).

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Maersk Iran A.S. lists Shaheed Rajee Container Terminal in Bandar Abbas, Khorramshahr Terminal in Khorramshahr, and Bandar Imam Khomeini Terminal in Bandar Imam Khomeini as service points for imports and exports (Maersk Line Export Services).

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Beginning on September 15, 2009, Maersk began offering “direct call to Bandar Abbas, Iran” on the FM1 line.  The company advertises “Direct service to/from Bandar Abbas…competitive transit time for Iran bound cargo…[and] transit time for Iran export cargo to Far East improved by 7 days along with direct coverage into Singapore and China” (Maersk Line Customer Advisory, 9/14/09).

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Maersk Line has weekly service in and out of the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, on its Far East-Middle East FM1 line.  Other ports on the line include Dammam in Saudi Arabia, Jebel Ali Dubai in the U.A.E, Singapore, and multiple ports in China (Maersk Line Service Network Website).

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In June 2010, according to Maersk Line’s “Schedule by Port,” 15 Maersk Shipping Container Vessels came through the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas (Maersk Line Shipping Containers- Schedule by Port).  This includes the German-flagged Busan Express, the UK-flagged Hyundai Oakland, and the Greek-flagged Sea-Land New York.  The ships headed to ports in the U.A.E., Karachi, Singapore, China, and India (Maersk Line Shipping Containers- Schedule by Vessel).

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In June 2010, according to Maersk Line’s “Schedule by Port,” two ships made seven total trips to Khorramshahr Terminal.  The Cyprus-flagged MCP LINZ and the Ali 18 traveled between Khorramshahr (Iran), Jebel Ali Dubai (U.A.E.), and Bandar Khomeini (Iran) according to Maersk’s “Schedule by Vessel.”

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In June 2010, according to Maersk Line’s “Schedule by Port,” two ships made five total trips to Bandar Imam Khomeini Container Terminal in Iran.  The Cyprus-flagged MCP LINZ and the Ali 18 traveled between Bandar Khomeini (Iran), Jebel Ali Dubai (U.A.E.), and Khorramshahr (Iran) (Maersk Line Schedule by Vessel).

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The International Business Monitor lists Maersk as one of the shipping lines that does business in and out of the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas (International Business Monitor, Iran Shipping Market Overview- Port of Bandar Abbas,” 4/28/2010).

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Maersk Tankers CEO Soren Skou said that 25 tankers worldwide are being used to store oil, 20 of which are commissioned by Iran.  Mr. Skou did not, however, specify if any of them are owned or operated by Maersk (Reuters, Floating Oil Storage Ending: Maersk,” 5/27/2010).

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AP Moeller-Maersk does extensive business with the United States government, having earned nearly $4 billion ($3,980,588,981) in government contracts from 2000-2010, according to USASpending.gov. Nearly 95 percent of these funds came from the U.S. Defense Department. USASpending.gov also lists that Maersk Company Ltd., the British arm of AP Moeller Maersk, has received $480,484,505 in government contracts in the past decade, with more than 95 percent of those funds coming from the U.S. Defense Department.

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In 2010, Maersk Line Ltd, the US arm of Maersk Line, won a contract worth over $460 million to operate twelve U.S. Navy vessels.  Under the contract, Maersk Line Ltd will operate and maintain 10 ships in the US Navy Military Sealift Command’s Maritime Prepositioning Force and help the government manage its cargo.  The two other ships “carry ammunition, explosives, vehicles, and containerized cargo for the US Army’s prepositioning program.” The contract begins in 2010, and if all options are exercised, will continue until 2015 (Tradewinds.no, “Maersk Wins US Navy Work,” 6/1/2010).

 

Response: 

When confronted publicly with allegations of its ties to Iran, Maersk issued a statement saying that they were in the process of reviewing the new June 2010 sanctions passed by US Congress, with the intent to stay within the law (Fox News, "Firms Contracting with US Government Flouting the Law, Watchdog Says", 7/30/2010)

Two days later, Maersk publicly rejected allegations that it has violated US sanctions against Iran, calling claims made by UANI "inaccurate" (Fox News, "Danish Shipping Firm Denies Violating US Sanctions Against Iran", 8/2/2010).