On February 24, 2023, Pola Rise was designated as a Specially Designated National by the U.S. Government. A fact sheet by the U.S. Government’s Department of State (DOS) stated that Pola Rise and its vessels were designated “for operating or for having operated in the marine sector of the Russian Federation economy.” DOS further stated that “Pola Rise is a Russian shipping company involved in increasing Russia’s trade with Turkey and facilitating shipments of materials to Arctic construction sites.”
Per published U.S. Government guidance,“U.S. persons must comply with OFAC regulations, including all U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens regardless of where they are located, all persons and entities within the United States, all U.S. incorporated entities and their foreign branches.” Pola Rise disagrees with the designations by the U.S. Government and is taking all necessary steps to petition for the removal of the company and its vessels from the U.S. Government’s SDN list. Since April 2023, Pola Rise has been submitting a number of delisting applications to OFAC, as well as negotiating with this institution.
OFAC reply for the General License 6C and possibility to use Pola Rise’s fleet for agricultural shipments
In particular, on June 16, 2023, Pola Rise received an official response from OFAC regarding the permissibility of using Pola Rise vessels to transport agricultural products, despite the company and fleet's sanction status. According to this letter, such shipments by Pola Rise vessels fall within the scope of General License 6C and do not require separate approval from OFAC. Such shipments also do not impose the risk of the secondary sanctions on the counterparties of Pola Rise irrespective of their domicile. This letter is also available in this section. More information is available via the following link.
Apart from above, Pola Rise has a robust sanctions compliance program pursuant to which it engages an external compliance provider to review all potential freight contracts involving Pola Rise vessels or third-party vessels, with no exceptions. The use of an external provider ensures that transactions are reviewed by an independent third party under the principles of the best compliance practices.
Since its addition to the SDN List, Pola Rise has been working diligently to strengthen its already robust sanctions compliance program. For instance, Pola Rise has created a questionnaire that it is already using in contacts with any potential charterers of Pola Rise’s vessels. Click here in order to upload our questionnaire.
In addition to having an internal compliance policy, Pola Rise used to include a standard BIMCO sanctions clause 2020 in its charterparties as a matter of standard practice. Given the circumstances and current status of the company, Pola Rise provides an amended BIMCO sanctions clause that can be incorporated into charterparties for the benefit of the company and its clients. Click here in order to download updated sanctions clause.
Should you have any further questions or require any additional information, please contact us via the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Prior to entering into any relationship with Pola Rise, Pola Rise would recommend consulting with your independent legal advisor as appropriate.