Norway considers imposing ban on ‘suspicious tankers’ to its ports

Norway will introduce the latest round of sanctions against Russia, joining similar measures by the European Union, its foreign ministry said late last week.

The country said that it was still considering how to best implement a ban in the EU’s 11th package of sanctions, which applied to access to ports for vessels that had undertaken ship-to-ship transfers of oil or oil products that were suspected of being in breach of the oil import ban or oil price cap. The ban would also apply to ships that failed to notify of such transfers or which disabled their navigational tracking systems when transporting Russian oil.

Norway’s foreign ministry said that a regulatory amendment on this point would come later.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said that “Norway stands with Europe in responding to Russia’s attack on Ukraine in violation of international law. In solidarity with Ukraine, we have endorsed all EU sanctions packages. The 11th package of sanctions aims to strengthen existing sanctions and crack down on their circumvention. This is important, because it is urgent to curb the cash flows that Russia is using to finance the brutal war of aggression,’ said the foreign ministry.

Norway has endorsed EU sanctions against Russia, although it has applied a few national adjustments. The foreign ministry said that “the sanctions are becoming more extensive and are a strong and clear European response to Russia’s brutal war of aggression in Ukraine. The possibilities for conducting trade with Russia are becoming increasingly limited and entail a high level of risk”.

The EU’s latest package introduced a legal basis for limiting exports of specified goods and technology to third countries that are considered to have a particularly high risk of circumvention of the sanctions. Norway has politically endorsed the measure, but for practical reasons will not at this time be implementing it in Norwegian law.