November 7, 2019 / 12:26 PM / 11 days ago

BHP says it is unaffected by sanctions on China's COSCO

LONDON (Reuters) - The sanctions imposed by the United States on subsidiaries of Chinese state-owned group COSCO have not affected the world’s biggest dry bulk shipper BHP, the mining company said, after carrying out due diligence to check.

In one of the biggest sanctions actions taken by the U.S. government since its crackdown on Iranian oil exports, Washington imposed sanctions on Chinese companies in late September for alleged involvement in moving crude oil from Iran.

COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian), a subsidiary of China’s state-owned shipping group COSCO, was one of the companies blacklisted.

Washington made it clear the COSCO group was not affected, but there have been concerns among charterers of ships that they could still be exposed. COSCO operates in multiple segments of the seaborne trade, including container and dry bulk shipping.

Rashpal Bhatti, vice president of maritime and supply chain excellence, at BHP said COSCO was one of its “strategic partners”, but a due diligence check had shown none of the vessels it uses for dry bulk shipping of coking coal and iron ore were affected.

“The sanctions were ring-fenced to a different part of Cosco’s business, nothing to do with bulk shipping,” Bhatti told Reuters.

Reporting by Barbara Lewis and Jonathan Saul; editing by David Evans

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