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Cosco parent exits London-based marine insurers due to sanctions

CHINA's Cosco Shipping Corp is believed to be switching most of its tanker fleet to China-based marine insurers, including ships that are not directly owned by its two sanctioned subsidiaries, in a bid to minimise the damage from being blacklisted by the US

07 October 2019 - 19:00

CHINA's Cosco Shipping Corp is believed to be switching most of its tanker fleet to China-based marine insurers, including ships that are not directly owned by its two sanctioned subsidiaries, in a bid to minimise the damage from being blacklisted by the US.

The state-owned shipping giant now has crude and product tankers entered with the China Shipowners Mutual Assurance Association that were previously insured by the International Group of P&I clubs.



Checks show that many of the 49-strong fleet of very large crude carriers (VLCCs), suezmax and aframax tankers linked to the sanctioned Cosco subsidiaries are now entered with the Shanghai-based association, reported London's Lloyd's List.



The sanctions have raised questions about the wider risks of chartering or providing services to all tanker tonnage under the larger Cosco umbrella, even though the parent company was deliberately excluded from sanctions.



The shift to China from Europe comes amid intensifying contagion fears among banks, class societies, charterers and bunker suppliers about exposure to unilateral US sanctions on Iran because of Cosco's ambiguous and opaque ownership.



The US Office and Foreign Assets Control revealed the sanctions on Cosco Shipping Tanker (Dalian), and Cosco Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman and Shipmanagement on September 25, claiming they had defied their ban on shipping Iranian oil and gas to China.


WORLD SHIPPING

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