IUMI - " eight incidents involving sanctioned oil tankers reported in 2022"

Sep 21 2023

There were eight incidents involving sanctioned oil tankers reported in 2022, said the International Union of Marine Insurers

“There were eight incidents involving sanctioned oil tankers reported in 2022, including the destructive explosion of the aframax tanker Pablo which caught fire in Malaysian waters in May and left three crew members missing”, reports Ilias Tsakiris, Chair of IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurers) Ocean Hull Committee

“Because this ship was part of the 600-strong “dark fleet”, salvors were not able to board.

"Fortunately, there was no other vessel involved but had this been a collision, or a ship-to-ship transfer, it would have been a completely different story.

"As it stands, the burnt-out wreck remains at anchor and the owners are impossible to contact, leaving the authorities with a significant headache.”

The so-called “dark fleet” is a growing threat for insurers, especially since the invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions regime, IUMI said.

The global maritime industry faces significant challenges due to the proliferation of aging vessels, identity-shifting ships owned by dubious entities, and questionable classification societies.

These trends also raise concerns about potential criminal activities and money laundering. Issues of accountability and traceability in accidents involving the dark fleet and responsibility for wreck removal, pollution response, ship-to-ship transfers of oil, and compensation for victims all remain unclear. Many report that Russia is managing to bypass insurance regulations, with approximately 20% of the global tanker fleet avoiding sanctions. It is worth mentioning that the sanctions and the invasion of Ukraine have driven certification providers, engine-makers, and insurers away from sanctioned oil carriers, at the cost of further reducing oversight.

At the IMO, the Legal Committee noted that a global fleet of between 300 and 600 tankers, primarily comprised of older ships, including some not inspected recently, operating with AIS transponders turned off, having substandard maintenance, unclear ownership and a severe lack of insurance, is currently operating as a “dark fleet” or “shadow fleet” to circumvent sanctions, increasing the risk of oil spills and collisions, IUMI reports.


Previous: Don’t get caught out by fraud and never let crime pay, says IUMI

Next: SLB and Cognite partnership alliance targets technical limit in production levels for Vedanta

Oct-December 2023

Exploding batteries - evidence of crew qualifications - refusing bribes - perspectives on decarbonisation and methanol