UK ship agent in administration on Iran sanctions

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK’s leading ship liner agent has entered into administration due to the loss of business caused by western sanctions imposed on the company’s Iranian shipping client, its administrator said. Johnson Stevens Agencies Ltd, based in east England, had previously represented the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL). In recent months IRISL has faced sanctions-related pressure from both the European Union and the United States, which have said it has engaged in illicit arms shipments. IRISL has said sanctions “could not paralyze the hipping line. “As a result of the embargo on IRISL, it caused immense problems including withdrawal of banking facilities, which meant trading was extremely difficult,” said David Merrygold, a partner with PKF who are administrators of Johnson Stevens. “Having lost a big customer, it is extremely difficult to replace a large customer in the short term,” he told Reuters. PKF said that after U.S. and EU sanctions were imposed on IRISL, Johnson Stevens’ banking facilities were withdrawn, which caused cash flow difficulties. PKF said with the loss of the IRISL contract, the UK company’s directors sought to replace it with alternative contracts and were hopeful of attracting a major new line. “However, in May 2011 the directors realized tha… >>>

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