Carnival Sends Sanctions Reminder to Travel Partners

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Carnival has issued a reminder to travel partners and agents about international sanctions laws and not being permitted to book travelers who reside in certain geographical regions. The cruise line is required to be in compliance with applicable laws from the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union.

In turn, travel agents booking sailings for Carnival Cruise Line and all cruise lines owned by Carnival Corporation are likewise required to be in compliance with those laws for the associated cruise lines.

“In response to the adoption of increased Sanctions Laws following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, all Carnival brands previously implemented a policy to no longer sell cruises, including through any travel agent partners, to guests resident in Russia, Belarus, the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine,” the email reminder read.

Cruise Ships in St Petersburg, Russia
Photo Credit: Stanislav Samoylik / Shutterstock

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. At that time, cruise lines quickly began cancelling port visits to Russia – visits that have not yet resumed as tensions remain ongoing.

The US, UK, and EU have all adopted financial sanctions against Russia and associated regions. In the US, these sanctions are handled through the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence from the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

These economic sanctions are intended to have direct consequences on the Russian Federation’s economy in the hopes of impacting war efforts and other aggressive actions.

A cruise might seem to be a relatively innocuous transaction, not having anything to do with weapons, training, or other direct aggressive activities. It is important to remember, however, that a cruise supports local retailers, hotels, restaurants, travel agents, tour guides, and more, even far outside designated ports of call.

This reminder applies to all cruise lines owned by Carnival Corporation & plc, including Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, and luxury line Seabourn.

Furthermore, the reminder also encompasses other regions currently under economic sanctions. This includes Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine.

“You are required to continue to ensure that you do not accept any booking from a guest resident in any Restricted Countries/Regions,” the email clarified.

“We would like to reiterate the importance of ensuring accurate guest details are input into our booking systems; in particular we require that you collect full details of each guest’s residency address at the time of booking and input this accurately into our booking system.”

Carnival Spirit Departing Florida
Carnival Spirit Departing Florida (Photo Credit: NAN728)

Travel partners and travel agencies working with Carnival Corporation & plc are also obligated to ensure they have adequate technical measures in place to prevent guests in those restricted areas from making bookings through online portals or websites.

Read Also: How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Is Impacting the Cruise Industry

All finance and legal departments, individual agents, and customer-facing staff need to be apprised of these restrictions so everyone will be in compliance.

What Penalties Could Be Incurred?

The email from Carnival Corporation & plc does not detail what penalties may be implemented if a travel partner was to create bookings for guests from restricted regions.

The US Department of the Treasury, however, stipulates that “civil monetary penalties of up to the greater of $250,000 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction may be imposed administratively against any person who violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation” of the applicable restrictions.

It is also likely that Carnival could revoke an agency’s partnership or may impose their own financial penalties or loss of commissions if such transactions were noted, though such penalties have not been confirmed.

Fortunately, with Carnival Corporation posting record bookings across its brands with stocks on the rise, there is no reason for travel partners to even consider violating the sanctions, as there are many other opportunities to bring great cruise vacations to eager travelers.

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