New U.S. Somalia Sanctions Impact Global Shipping, Piracy Incidents

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White House Blocking Order has Implications for Owners, Charterers, and Insurers

An Executive Order issued by the White House on April 13, 2010, blocks certain named individuals—identified by the U.S. government as contributors to instability in Somalia—from receiving any contributions or other property interests from the United States, or from U.S. persons. Of particular concern for shipping interests is the extent to which the Order prohibits ransom payments to rescue crewmen and recover vessels and cargo hijacked off the coast of Somalia, or otherwise impacts the international maritime community's responses to acts of piracy off the Somali coast.

The scope of the Order was addressed at a joint agency/industry piracy roundtable meeting held at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters on April 16, 2010. Reed Smith's participation in that meeting and one-on-one consultations with other Administration officials have yielded further guidance for applying the Order to international shipping...

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