Best Practices for captains, owners and operators of airplanes, maritime vessels and cargo and customs brokers
Perform background checks for each passenger or consignor of freight before entering into a shipping agreement. At a minimum, the due diligence steps should include the following factors, while keeping in mind that positive findings merely flag the potential but are not in themselves proof of sanctions violations:
- Ensure that all passengers are vetted against all UN lists of individuals designated under a travel ban;
- Ensure that cargo is not shipped, transshipped or sent to a party that is under targeted UN sanctions;
- Ensure that ultimate origin, destination or stopover/transshipment points do not match any of the states under UN WMD sanctions;
- Check identity of consignor, including spelling variations of names and compare also with lists of past UN sanctions designations;
- Conduct verification of goods and commodities by at least matching Harmonized Codes with all other available and properly furnished customs, shipping, insurance, and commercial documentation.
- Verify whether dimensions, weight, and other visible characteristics of goods and commodities match common sense assumptions;
- Verify whether any dual-use consideration should be taken into account.
In case of any doubt, national authorities should be requested to evaluate available information in cases of a request for cross-border transportation near an embargoed state, or in cases where the cargo may include restricted arms, military matériel, goods, components or commodities.
Certain states permit the public listing of previously denied applicants (individuals or entities) for export licenses for WMD- relevant and dual-use equipment. In cases where such lists are legally available, they should be used for verification purposes only. However, it should be kept in mind that an applicant previously denied does not automatically translate into culpability. The history of an applicant is merely another element in the overall assessment because many innocent reasons can cause denial of an application for an export licenses.
Best Practices: consignor and recipients of cargo shipments
- Verify the identity, history, and regulatory details of the aircraft, or maritime vessel and registered owner/company proposed for transportation.
- For air transport, key requirements prior to closing a shipping contract include verification of the following two documents with the relevant national aviation authorities (many AAs provide online verification tools for this purpose):
– Validation by the national aviation registering agency of the airworthiness certificate for the proposed aircraft that must be presented by the owner;
– A valid aircraft registration that must contain the following information: Alphanumeric National Registration Number, Serial Number, Make, Model and Manufacturing Year, Engine Type, Model and Manufacturer, Dealer, Status of Validity and Certificate Issue Date, Expiration Date, Complete Registered Owner information.
- For transportation on board a maritime vessel the following two documents should be verified on the websites of either the IMO: http://www.imonumbers.lrfairplay.com or of the non-profit organization, Equasis: http://www.equasis.org/EquasisWeb/public/HomePage?fs=HomePage
- IMO Ship Identification Number
- IMO Registered Company/Owner Identification Number