Sanctions hit Iranian tanker operator
Tehran, February 19, 2011
Iran's biggest crude oil tanker operator NITC said its ship insurers had declined to renew policy cover for the coming year due to the impact of tightening sanctions in the European Union.
Western nations suspect Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear bomb although Tehran says its atomic programme is peaceful.
NITC gets its third party liability insurance and pollution cover from the P&I Club market, marine insurers owned by shipping clients.
'NITC has found itself caught up in a situation of tightening sanctions as a totally innocent party, along with some 100 other Iranian shipping companies,' NITC chairman and managing director Mohammad Souri said in a statement.
The privately owned group said its four P&I clubs had declined to renew cover for the 2011/2012 policy year, adding it hoped for an early resolution of this matter and 'speedy renewal of cover' from international group of clubs. Its policies expire on February 20.
'In the meantime, the company has been obliged to ensure that alternative P&I arrangements are in place for all ships trading in its international fleet, up to the required level of $1 billion of pollution cover for each incident,' Souri said.
'That cover is being provided by a mixture of fixed-premium insurers and other insurance companies based outside the EU, with adequate and suitable reinsurance provision,' he said without naming the providers.
NITC's four P&I insurers are member clubs within the International Group of P&I Clubs.
Andrew Bardot, executive officer with the International Group of P&I Clubs, said while he was not privy to the specific negotiations he said that the clubs concerned had been liaising closely with NITC and with the UK Treasury 'regarding the sanctions applicable to NITC's insurance arrangements'.-Reuters