Tankers hit by new Turkish Straits transit rules

Oct 05 2018

New shipping regulations recently introduced for the Turkish Straits could increase delays for large vessels.

According to Platts, the new rules were implemented on 1st September and require tankers of over 250 m in length passing through the Dardanelles and those of over 200 m long transiting the Bosporus to take a pilot and a tug escort.

In response to the new regulations, the Worldscale Association amended the rates for voyages involving Bosporus transits, adding 16 cents per tonne from September.

The new regulations could add demurrage charges to a charterer’s voyage costs. LPG carriers of over 150 m, tankers of over 200 m and drybulk vessels of more than 250 m in length were already restricted to daylight transits of the Turkish Straits.

With less daylight hours as winter approaches there is less time to undertake the transits, shipping agents told Platts.

Looking at the bunker market, delays for vessels passing through the straits can cause significant disruption to barge schedules at Istanbul. During previous periods of  severe delays, due to heavy fog, Turkish bunker prices firmed.

However, physical suppliers at Istanbul said that while vessels passing through the strait may be delayed, due to bad weather or a lack of tugs available, following the new regulations, they do not foresee any significant issues with operations, schedules or demand levels, Platts reported.


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