Iran to resolve insurance coverage for oil containers soon
Iran's Kish P&I Insurance Company's Mohamadreza Mohammadi Banaei has said that the delay in insurance coverage of containers which had disrupted oil trade between India and Iran will be resolved within the next few days, ISNA reported.
"As requested by the Indian Ports Association, Iran's government has ensured the Indians in a formal letter that it will support the domestic insurers," he said.
"Now we're waiting for the Indians to approve the letter," Mohammadi Banaei added.
On Tuesday, Reuters quoted industry sources as saying that oil and container trade between India and Iran has been disrupted due to uncertainty over insurance cover, leaving some ships stranded outside ports in both countries.
The delays had occurred because New Delhi had not yet extended approval for Iranian underwriters to provide insurance for container and tanker vessels calling at Indian ports, they said.
European Union sanctions targeting Iran's disputed nuclear programme have meant insurers based in Europe - who account for the majority of cover for the tanker market - cannot insure Iranian oil and other shipments, leading to the emergence of new, untested insurance providers.
A three-month approval by India for Iran's Kish P&I and Moallem Insurance Co to cover container and tanker vessels calling at Indian ports lapsed on September 27.
Three oil cargoes were on vessels waiting at anchorage to call on Indian ports, while several container ships were stranded at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, oil industry and shipping sources said.
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).
Two Iranian vessels carrying oil for Indian refiner Essar Oil (ESRO.NS) -- Sundial, an aframax sized tanker, and a very large crude carrier Sunshine -- were waiting at an Indian port, the sources said. Another aframax, Superior, for Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd's (MRPL.NS), was also at anchorage at an Indian port, they said.