CMA CGM pulls out of Iran ahead of US sanctions

CMA CGM has become the latest high profile container shipping line to pull out of Iran following the Trump administration’s decision to renew sanctions on companies operating in the country.

CMA CGM ceo Rodolphe Saade was quoted by Reuters as saying at an economic conference at the weekend that the world’s third biggest container line would stop services to Iran.

“Due to the Trump administration, we have decided to end our service for Iran,” he said, adding that the line’s cooperation agreement with local Iranian partner IRISL had been also suspended.

CMA CGM was among the first to restart services to Iran in 2016 after sanctions were lifted. It had been running three Iran-Asia direct services.

Read More: Shipping companies stop Iran business as US indicates secondary sanctions are in effect

While there had been some ambiguity over exactly when the sanctions would kick in, some other major shipping companies such as Maersk and its 2M alliance partner MSC, have already said they would cease transactions ahead of a reimposition of sanctions following the United States’ decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

Saade noted that not all the top lines were as concerned about running afoul of the US rules, but CMA CGM had a large presence in the US and would comply. “Our Chinese competitors are hesitating a little, so maybe they have a different relationship with Trump, but we apply the rules,” he said.

According to information on its website, the world’s fourth largest line COSCO Shipping, continues to run at least two direct services from Asia to the main Iran port of Bandar Abbas.

Posted 09 July 2018

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Vincent Wee

Asia Editor, Seatrade Maritime News