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On 11th January, 2021, the US State Department re-designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST), six years after it had removed Cuba from the SST List. 

On 19th January, 2021, the US announced that the Venezuelan National Institute of Aquatic Spaces (INEA), which is the Maritime Authority of Venezuela, has been included in OFAC's SDN List.

The Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream 2 pipeline projects will, when completed, transport natural gas from Russia to Europe.  The US has recently imposed sanctions which will target activities related to these projects, including transactions relating to ships used for pipe-laying or site preparation as well as the provision of insurance to such ships.

Revisions have been made to the rules of two of the main arbitration institutions in international commerce. The rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have been updated to reflect an evolving arbitration landscape with a view to promoting efficiency and modernity in proceedings.

Among the many serious knock-on effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact on crew has been a topic of particular concern within the shipping industry. Many ports have imposed restrictions or prohibitions on crew changes, leading to delays whilst joining crew are quarantined, or a need to deviate ships from their intended port rotation in order to effect essential crew changes. Aside from the clear humanitarian issues posed by this crisis, parties also need to consider the contractual impacts that may arise.


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