Sanctions and Venezuela

In late January 2019 the US Government strengthened sanctions against Venezuela; this followed disputed elections in the country where the opposition party was thought to have won a majority, but the incumbent party did not relinquish power.

The following outlines the position, as we understand it as at 18 February 2019.


The US Position

The US has strengthened sanctions against various individuals within the regime, the state oil company PdVSA and in relation to certain goods such as computer equipment, software and equipment that could be used to repress people.


The EU Position

The EU has not followed the US but existing sanctions legislation from 2017 remains in place. This includes a list of government officials and also specific bans on the sale or supply of certain goods such as computer equipment, software and equipment that could be used to repress people.


The EU list of government officials is not as extensive as the US position and does not specifically include PdVSA at this time.


The UK Position

At present the UK Position is the same as detailed under EU Position above, post Brexit in late March 2019 the UK is free to engage separate sanctions legislation but it is thought that at least temporarily the UK will continue to follow the EU position.


Club Cover

The Club can provide cover for vessels trading to Venezuela provided that

  1. There is no US nexus within the transaction eg
    • Currency
    • Vessel
    • Discharge port or ultimate destination
    • Company and/or person
  2. That the Assured sanction checks the transaction to ensure that the EU list of designated individuals is not involved in the Transaction.
  3. That the voyage does not include any of the banned equipment or software

If you intend to trade to Venezuela we recommend that you contact the Club in advance of fixing cargoes or tonnage for further clarification.


Other Issues

The comments above deal with sanctions only. We understand from our network that the actual position in Venezuela is unfortunate at the moment. There are shortages of basic food and material and trade to a Venezuelan port may present a higher risk than it did in the past.

Venezuela is also on the Joint War Committee list of excluded areas therefore depending on the structure of the owners cover or your own with the Club then additional premiums may be applicable; these may increase if the position deteriorates in the future.


For further information please contact our area specialist

Carlos Vazquez

+44 20 7702 3928