Taiwan gets U.S. sanctions waiver for Iran crude imports - sources

TAIPEI/SINGAPORE Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:48am EST

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TAIPEI/SINGAPORE Nov 26 (Reuters) - Taiwan received waivers from U.S. sanctions after it agreed to keep crude imports from Iran in the next six months near previous intake levels, Taiwanese government and refining sources said on Tuesday.

"We have just finished the 6-month review which require Taiwan to keep Iranian oil imports at below 2 million barrels in the first half of 2014," one of the sources said.

Sanctions will be waived from this December to May 2014, the sources said.

Taiwan, one of six remaining countries that still imports Iranian crude, has imported a little over 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iran so far this year, less than half the 24,000 bpd imported in 2012.

Countries that import Iranian crude have had to show the United States evidence of continuous reductions in purchases from the OPEC member to qualify for a waiver from sanctions every six months.

The review had been finalised before the U.S. and other major powers struck a nuclear deal with Iran during the weekend that will ease some of the sanctions on trade with Iran.

"We might have to wait for the next review (for the second half of 2014) to see if volumes will rise," the source said. (Reporting by Faith Hung and Florence Tan; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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