Iranian economy ministry resolves problem of insuring ships and oil tankers at Indian port

Business Materials 22 October 2013 13:25 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.22/ Trend F.Karimov/

The problem of insuring ships and oil tankers calling at Indian ports was resolved by Iranian economy minister as the ministry issued the necessary guarantees, the Mehr News Agency quoted head of the Central Insurance Company Mohammad-Ebrahim Amin as saying.

P&I insurance policies which are issued by Iranian companies should be guaranteed by the government because of international sanctions. Due to the change of administration, such policies had not been issued. So, the Indian side had refused to accept the Iranian ships and tankers, he explained.

India has extended a three-month approval to Iranian underwriters Kish P&I and Moallem Insurance Co for insuring ships and oil tankers calling at Indian ports, two shipping sources familiar with the development said according to Reuters.

A delay in renewing the approval had disrupted oil and container trade between Indian and Iran, with some ships stranded outside ports in both countries.

The new approval is valid until Dec. 27 said the sources, who had received a letter from the Directorate General of Shipping. The previous approval had expired on Sept. 27.
"This will facilitate Iranian (oil) shipment," said P.P. Upadhya, managing director of Indian refiner Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd.

India's intake of Iranian oil throughout August was down more than 40 per cent on the year. International sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear programme have made it difficult to insure refineries and ships involved in the trade and forced some oil payments to be made in rupees.

India receives crude imports from Tehran in Iranian vessels, while exports of non-oil commodities and industrial goods use the vessels of Iran's Hafiz Darya Shipping Lines (HDS) and Safiran Payam Darya Shipping Lines (SAPID).

EU sanctions against Iran from mid-2012 bar members of Europe's International Group of Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs which account for the majority of cover for the tanker market, from insuring Iranian oil and other shipments, leading to the emergence of untested insurance providers.