Türkiye started requesting proof of insurance from tankers loaded with Russian crude oil after Western powers imposed a price cap to punish the Kremlin for its war on Ukraine.
The General Directorate recalled that the rule regarding the proof of Protection and Indemnity (P&I) insurance came into force on Dec. 1 and said that since then three crude oil tankers, which presented the insurance papers, have been allowed to pass through the Istanbul Strait.
Some 18 tankers in the Black Sea and one ship in the Aegean Sea, carrying a total of 2 million tons of crude oil, have not yet presented the requested papers and are waiting in those seas, the authority said.
Thirteen of those 18 tankers in the Black Sea are destined to deliver oil to the ports in the European Union, the authority said, adding that the owners of 15 of them are Greek, two by Hong Kong and one is Turkish.
Russian oil embargo
Meanwhile, the European Union embargo on Russia’s oil and an international cap on the price of the country’s crude is disrupting the maritime transport sector.
The EU on Dec. 5 enforced an embargo on Russian crude shipments, the bloc’s latest sanction in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Last week also saw the start of a $60 cap on a barrel of Russian crude, agreed by Western nations.
Aimed at depriving Russia of key income, the measures have also slowed transportation of its oil by sea.
The Financial Times has reported that Russia has assembled a “shadow fleet” of more than 100 vessels seeking to circumnavigate the Western sanctions regime.
These ships are reportedly using non-Western insurers and selling oil at higher prices to countries that have not subscribed to the new sanctions.
A 1936 treaty guarantees the freedom of navigation to merchant vessels passing through Türkiye’s the Bosphorus and Dardanelle straits.
But it also gives Türkiye the right to regulate security – a provision it is now using to make sure the oil tankers are insured against spillage and other accidents.
Marcus Baker, global head of Marine & Cargo at insurance broker Marsh, said the price cap “adds another layer of complexity to an already pretty complex situation.”
“The slowdown that might happen because of this added administrative burden may have the desired effect that the G7 wanted anyway,” he told AFP.
Meanwhile as much as 95 percent of the P&I insurance market is run by insurers in the EU and Britain, who suddenly can no longer insure cargoes of Russia oil sold for more than $60 per barrel.
Hurriyet Daily News