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South Africa (Oil Exports)

Volume 202: debated on Thursday 23 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) by what mechanism the Government are honouring their commitments with regard to crude oil exports to South Africa made under the 1985 package of EC sanctions now that the guidelines of 31 January 1979 covering the United Kingdom's crude oil exports are no longer in force;(2) when he expects the investigation into the alleged breach of the United Kingdom's guidelines prohibiting crude oil exports to South Africa by the tanker Almare Terza to be completed;(3) what factors have affected the time taken by his officials to investigate the alleged breach of the United Kingdom's guidelines prohibiting crude oil exports to South Africa by the tanker Almare Terza.

As I made clear in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Arbuthnot) on 8 March 1991, Official Report, column 301, the Government expect companies to abide by the 1985 EC measures against South Africa. Notice has been issued to the industry advising them of the continued existence of the ban. The investigation into the alleged shipment of United Kingdom continental shelf oil to South Africa on the tanker Almare Terza has proved complex and time consuming. It has been established that the cargo changed ownership at least five times on the international market. No response has, however, proved obtainable from the last identified owner, International Transportation Company based in the Cayman islands, and other inquiries have proved inconclusive.