Governments need to do more to enforce regulatory compliance: Insurers
GOVERNMENTS need to do more to do more to enforce compliance with maritime regulations, according to a leading marine insurance expert
GOVERNMENTS need to do more to do more to enforce compliance with maritime regulations, according to a leading marine insurance expert.
A spike in the volume and complexity of trade sanctions, particularly levied by the US, has put the shipping industry under greater scrutiny, with companies being penalised for violations, notes London's Lloyd's List.
Neil Roberts, head of marine underwriting at #Lloyd's Market Association, said marine insurers are doing everything they can to adhere to sanctions and follow the law, however ambiguity around which entities are engaged in sanctions is a serious problem.
'The intelligence agencies have a very good handle on ships that they think are problematic,' Mr Roberts told the Lloyd's List Transparency Forum in London. 'Do they share those with insurers? I have seen a list. It would be helpful if they were to do that slightly more often.'
The US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control is the body responsible for determining the people and entities that are sanctioned.
Mr Roberts said OFAC offers equivocal responses when the industry seeks advice about how it should act in certain cases where there are dealings with a questionable entity.
'To have a grey area is no good at all for insurance,' he said.
North P&I Club director Mark Church said there is no excuse for a responsible shipping company to not have a sanctions compliance policy.
Having it in place not only minimises risk of inadvertently violating sanctions, it can also be used to convince regulators that an effort was made to abide to the law and that is unlikely to be repeated, if a sanctions issues does come up.
Taking sanctions compliance seriously is crucial because the consequences of falling foul of the law and therefore excluded from the US markets - could be catastrophic and business-ending, as was the case with PB Tankers, which went bankrupt after being targeted by OFAC seemingly overnight.
Due diligence has become more feasible thanks to technological advancements that allow for more precise vessel tracking and analysis.