The Impact of UN Sanctions on Commercial Shipping Activities

  • Richard L. KilpatrickEmail author
Conference paper


To promote its mandate of maintaining international peace and security, the United Nations Security Council has recently utilized a variety of economic sanctions tactics in the maritime sector. Concerned with maritime practices aiding the development of illicit weapons programmes, these sanctions strategies have targeted shipping activities by blacklisting vessels and companies, prohibiting certain cargo import and export, authorizing vessel inspections and interdiction, and outlawing vessel bunkering and marine insurance coverage. Although these measures are designed to promote multilateral policy goals, they also impose regulatory burdens on shipping industry participants attempting to engage in legitimate trade. This chapter explores the interplay between contemporary maritime sanctions techniques and commercial shipping practice. It first examines the sanctions tactics employed at the United Nations Security Council to target maritime practices linked to global security challenges. It then surveys efforts within commercial shipping circles to comply with and adapt to these layers of evolving regulations.


  1. Allen C (2019) The peacetime right of approach and visit and effective security council sanctions enforcement at sea. Int Law Stud 95:400–429Google Scholar
  2. Anderson HE (1996) III, The nationality of ships and flags of convenience: economics, politics, and alternatives. Tulane Marit Law J 21:139–170Google Scholar
  3. Blackwill RD, Harris JM (2017) War by other means. Geoeconomics and statecraft. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Early BR (2015) Busted sanctions: explaining why economic sanctions fail. Stanford University PressGoogle Scholar
  5. Fink MD (2013) Maritime embargo operations: naval implementation of UN sanctions at sea under Articles 41 and 42 of the UN Charter. Neth Int Law Rev:73–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Friedman U (2012) Smart sanctions: a short history. Foreign Policy:1–7Google Scholar
  7. Huish R (2017) How to sink the hermit kingdom: improving maritime sanctions against North Korea. Can Nav Rev 13(2):5–10Google Scholar
  8. Joyner CC (2003) United Nations sanctions after Iraq: looking back to see ahead. Chic J Int Law 4:329–354Google Scholar
  9. Kanji L (2017) Moving targets: the evolution and future of smart sanctions. Harv Int Rev:1–13Google Scholar
  10. Klein N (2011) Maritime security and the law of the sea. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  11. Kraska J (2019) Maritime interdiction of North Korean ships under UN sanctions. Berkeley J Int Law 37:369–392Google Scholar
  12. Ma Y (2016) Enforcing the United Nations Security Council’s Arms Embargo on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: a case study of the legal consequences of the Cong Chon Gan Incident. Chin (Taiwan) Yearb Int Law Aff 34:104–140Google Scholar
  13. Mclaughlin R (2002) United Nations mandated naval interdiction operations in the territorial sea? Int Comp Law Q 51:249–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Michel K (2004) War, terror and carriage by sea. RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  15. Nephew R (2017) The art of sanctions: a view from the field. Columbia University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pompeo M (2018) Confronting Iran: the Trump administration’s strategy. Foreign Aff 97(6)Google Scholar
  17. Shaw M (2017) International law, 8th edn. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Zarate J (2013) Treasury’s war: the unleashing of a new era of financial warfare. PublicAffairs, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Zou K (2011) Maritime enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolutions: use of force and coercive measures. Int J Mar Coast Law 26:235–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar


  1. Arash Shipping v Groupama [2011] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 607Google Scholar
  2. IRISL v Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association [2010] EWHC 2661Google Scholar
  3. Mamancochet Mining Ltd v Aegis Manageing Agency Ltd [2018] EWHC 2643Google Scholar

Online Publications

  1. Baker P and Sang-Hun C, Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ Against North Korea if It Endangers US, The New York Times, 8 August 2017Google Scholar
  2. CIA World Factbook, East & Southeast Asia: North Korea:
  3. International Registries, About: Maritime Services:
  4. Joint Statement on the Re-imposition of US Sanctions Due to its Withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) 6 August 2018.:
  5. Letter dated 15 January 2015 from the Permanent Representatives of Australia and Singapore to the United Nations Addressed to the President of the Security Council, S/2015/28Google Scholar
  6. Liberian Registry, About the Liberian Registry:
  7. Lloyd’s, Sanctions Guidance – Sanctions Clauses, 17 October 2014Google Scholar
  8. Osler D, Sanctions on Shipping: Failing Since 432 BCE, Lloyd’s List, 7 December 2017Google Scholar
  9. Reuters, US Top Diplomat Urges New Steps to Press North Korea on Weapons Program, November 28, 2017Google Scholar
  10. Motoko Rich, Trump and Kim Arrive in Singapore for Historic Summit Meeting’ New York Times, 10 June 2018Google Scholar
  11. Salthouse M, Maritime Risk International, Legacy of the Iran Sanctions Programme for the Shipping Industry, 21 March 2017Google Scholar
  12. Singapore Registry of Ships, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore:
  13. Stuhrmann, ‘BIMCO Publishes New Sanctions Clauses to Meet Geopolitical Challenges’ 20 December 2019Google Scholar
  14. Transcript of Direct General’s Remarks at Conclusion of IAEA Board Meeting, March 8 2006.:


  1. BIMCO, New York Produce and Exchange Time Charter (2015)Google Scholar
  2. BIMCO, Sanctions Clause for Time Charter Parties (2020)Google Scholar
  3. BIMCO, Sanctions Clause for Voyage Charter Parties (2020)Google Scholar
  4. Charter of the United Nations and the Statute of the International Court of Justice (1945)Google Scholar
  5. UNSC Res 661 (1990)Google Scholar
  6. UNSC Res 665 (1990)Google Scholar
  7. UNSC Res 1718 (2006)Google Scholar
  8. UNSC Res 1737 (2006)Google Scholar
  9. UNSC Res 1803 (2007)Google Scholar
  10. UNSC Res 1874 (2009)Google Scholar
  11. UNSC Res 1929 (2010)Google Scholar
  12. UNSC Res 2087 (2013)Google Scholar
  13. UNSC Res 2094 (2013)Google Scholar
  14. UNSC Res 2231 (2016)Google Scholar
  15. UNSC Res 2270 (2016)Google Scholar
  16. UNSC Res 2321 (2016)Google Scholar
  17. UNSC Res 2371 (2017)Google Scholar
  18. UNSC Res 2375 (2017)Google Scholar
  19. UNSC Res 2397 (2017)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Charleston, School of BusinessCharlestonUSA

Personalised recommendations