Hong Kong rejects US warning re tanker Pacific Bravo, WoE cancels cover

Hong Kong’s government has rejected a warning from the US Department of State relating to tanker Pacific Bravo (IMO 9206035), which is believed to be heading for China.

Meanwhile, West of England has said that its cover for the Pacific Bravo was cancelled on Monday, May 27th.

The registered owner of Pacific Bravo shares a working address with a COSCO entity in Dalian; COSCO operates the vessel. Pacific Bravo was purchased by a holding company, transferred to COSCO’s management, reflagged and renamed in January.

A US official told Reuters that the real owner of the Bravo was the Bank of Kunlun, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp’s banking division CNPC Capital. Bank of Kunlun is believed to be the main financial institution for business transactions between China and Iran.

On Wednesday May 29th Hong Kong’s Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (HK CEDB)told Bloomberg that the city complied strictly with the UN Security Council (UN SC) sanctions on Iran. The UN’s limits on Iranian trade are far less stringent than the US sanctions measures. An HK CEDB spokesperson noted that the UN SC did not impose restrictions on the export of petroleum from Iran.

Meanwhile in India, the government of recently re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to begin talks with Iran to buy its oil using rupees rather than dollars for payment. By using rupee-denominated payment, India would bypass restrictions on the use of the American financial system for trade with Iran.

2001-built, Liberia-flagged, 159,566 gt Pacific Bravo is owned by Pacific Bravo Ltd care of manager COSCO Shipping Seaman Shipmanagement of Liaoning, China. West of England cancelled its cover for the Pacific Bravo on Monday, May 27th