Maersk, the biggest shipping company in the world, has informed Burma Campaign UK that it will stop using military-owned ports in Burma before the end of the month.
In May this year Maersk was placed on the ‘Dirty List’ of companies doing business with the military in Burma, as they were using military-owned ports in Yangon. Maersk will now be removed from the ‘Dirty List’.
The Burmese military own three commercial ports in Yangon: TMT Port, Hteedan International Port Terminal, and Ahlone International Port Terminal 1.
Maersk stated to Burma Campaign UK:
“We are committed to serving trade for Myanmar, as we have done since the lifting of international sanctions in 2013. We call a variety of ports in the Yangon area and are in the process of consolidating all our Myanmar bound port calls at the Myanmar International Terminal Thilawa (MITT) and Myanmar Industrial Port (MIP) terminals. We expect this process to be finalised before the end of the month.”
“The biggest shipping company in the world deciding not to use military-owned ports is a highly significant move, and will increase pressure on other shipping companies to do the same,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK.
Shipping companies also on the ‘Dirty List’ for using military owned ports include: Carsten Rehder (Germany) Eastern Mediterranean Maritime (Greece), Capital Ship Management Corporation (Greece), Eurobulk (Greece), Evergreen Group (Taiwan), FGAS Petrol JSC (Vietnam), Express Financial Ventures (Panama), Harren & Partner (Germany), Interasia Lines (Hong Kong), INTERSCAN Schiffahrtsgesellschaft (Germany), MPC Capital (Germany), Norse Group (Singapore/UK). More shipping companies will be added to the ‘Dirty List’ when it is updated later this year.
In July 2020, following pressure from Burma Campaign UK, British company Portia Management Services announced it would not renew its contract (which expires next year) managing the military-owned TMT Port in Yangon. Western Union has also ended its relationship with a military-owned bank after being placed on our ‘Dirty List’ and facing an international campaign.
The decision by Maersk is an example of how it is possible to do business in Burma without doing business with the military.
“The campaigns to stop international companies funding human rights violations in Burma are gaining momentum and will keep growing,” said Mark Farmaner. “These campaigns targeting international companies doing business with the military are only necessary because the UK, EU and others refuse to implement the recommendations of the UN Fact-Finding Mission and introduce sanctions against military companies.”
Justice for Myanmar is a campaign by activists in Burma exposing the vast business interests of the military, which helps fund the human rights violations they commit.