On 29th May, Hellenic Shipping News explained that the Automated Identification System (AIS) was developed to counter the safety limitations of visual/VHF/Radar that were traditionally relied on for safe navigation in busy waterways. The SOLAS regulations governing shipping requires AIS is to be fitted on all ships of 300 gross tonnes and upwards engaged in international service, cargo ships of 500 gross tonnes and upwards not engaged on international voyages, and all passenger ships irrespective of size.  Generally speaking, SOLAS requires all ships fitted with AIS to maintain it in operation at all times. The article says that an OFAC Advisory in March advisory identified disabling AIS transponders as a deceptive shipping practice and recommended that “ship registries, insurers, charterers, vessel owners, or port operators should consider investigating vessels that appear to have turned off their AIS while operating in the Mediterranean and Red Seas.  Any other signs of manipulating AIS transponders should be considered red flags for potential illicit activity and should be investigated fully prior to continuing to provide services to, processing transactions involving, or engaging in other activities with such vessel”.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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