UANI Calls on Bureau Veritas to Comply with Sanctions and Stop Certifying IRISL Vessels and Iranian Oil Tankers

June 4, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton,
[email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296

UANI Calls on Bureau Veritas to Comply with Sanctions and Stop Certifying IRISL Vessels and Iranian Oil Tankers

New York, NY - On Monday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on the French shipping service, Bureau Veritas, to stop certifying Iranian shipping vessels, specifically those of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines ("IRISL") and the National Iranian Tanker Company ("NITC").

Bureau Veritas's Iran business violates EU sanctions that ban both transactions with the IRISL and the provision of ancillary services, including certification services that facilitate Iran's global oil trade.

In recent months, Bureau Veritas has made a series of irresponsible and illegal decisions to certify vessels that other certification providers such as Lloyd's Register and Det Norske Veritas have dropped due to U.S. and EU sanctions. Bureau Veritas now provides certification to at least a dozen IRISL vessels and eleven NITC oil tankers.

In a letter sent last week to Bureau Veritas's CEO Didier Michaud-Daniel, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, explained how this is a clear violation of EU sanctions imposed against the IRISL and Iran's oil trade, and also could run afoul of U.S. law, given Bureau Veritas's extensive contract work with the U.S. government.

Wrote Ambassador Wallace:

Since the launch of UANI's campaign earlier this year, several shipping certification providers have ceased their Iran business activities. Several of these providers, including Lloyd's Register and Det Norske Veritas ("DNV") have specifically cited the risks of increasingly punitive EU and U.S. sanctions as well as the regime's pursuit of nuclear weapons and sponsorship of terrorism as reasons for their decision to leave Iran. In the past weeks, UANI also has received confirmation that the Polish Register of Shipping and the Croatian Register of Shipping, respectively, do not provide any certification services to Iranian vessels or Iranian companies.

Of particular concern to UANI is that Bureau Veritas appears to be quite comfortable filling the void left after the above-mentioned shipping certification providers made the responsible decision to withdraw from Iran. As a result, Bureau Veritas now provides certification to at least a dozen IRISL vessels. As for a few specific examples, Bureau Veritas assumed certification responsibilities for theISI Olive after DNV withdrew its services in March of this year. Similarly, Bureau Veritas picked up certification services for the IRISL vessel Benita (formerly the Palmary), after Lloyd's Register withdrew its services. ...

Bureau Veritas's Iran business activities with IRISL also violate EU sanctions imposed in response to IRISL's direct support of Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Moreover, Bureau Veritas undermines the efficacy of the EU embargo on Iranian crude oil by providing certification services to the regime's primary oil shipper, the NITC. Available data indicates that Bureau Veritas currently provides certification services for eleven of NITC's 39 tanker vessels. Prior to March, DNV provided certification services for these same vessels. Bureau Veritas's certification and inspections to NITC vessels and other Iranian crude oil tankers represent "ancillary contracts" necessary for the execution of the Iran's global oil trade. Such contracts will represent a violation of EU law when the EU embargo on Iranian crude oil goes into effect on July 1, 2012. Arguably, Bureau Veritas should be held accountable to withdraw certification services to any vessel worldwide that lifts Iranian crude, just as European insurance and reinsurance providers will no longer be able to cover vessels transporting Iranian oil.

Bureau Veritas's continued work with Iran also imperils its extensive business in the United States and with the U.S. Government. According to, Bureau Veritas has had nearly $23 million in contracts with the U.S. Government since 2000. On its website, Bureau Veritas also proudly touts being a contract holder for the General Services Administration ("GSA") of the U.S. Government. Bureau Veritas should also be aware of legislation that could directly impact its reputation and ability to work with the U.S. UANI is working to pass the proposed "Ethical Shipping Inspections Act" which was introduced by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Senator Susan Collins (R-MN) and Senator Mark Begich (D-AK). This legislation "would prohibit the U.S. from delegating representative authority to classification societies that simultaneously conduct inspection, certification, and related services for Iran, North Korea, North Sudan, or Syria."

UANI has requested a reply by June 8, 2012.

Click here to read UANI's full letter to Bureau Veritas.
Click here to send a message to Bureau Veritas.