Reuters reported today that China’s major ship insurer, the China P&I Club, will halt indemnity coverage for tankers carrying Iranian oil starting 1 July, the date that EU sanctions affecting Iran oil transactions go into full effect. The China P&I Club, whose members include major Chinese shipping firms Sinotrans and COSCO Group, is the first Chinese maritime insurer to confirm it will halt business with tankers operating in Iran.
"Many ship owners want to join our club and want our club to cover this risk, but considering all these regulations from the United States and the EU, I know the China P&I Club will not do that," said an official with the company. "The China P&I Club will not take the risk. We have asked our members not to go there, if they go there, they take their own risk," the official added.
China P&I Club insures more than 1,000 vessels. The move, the first by a key Chinese player, could complicate the ability of refiners in China, Iran’s top crude buyer, to obtain the shipping and insurance to keep importing the Iranian crude. Iran sells most of its oil in Asia, where China, India, Japan and South Korea are the four biggest buyers.
Source: Reuters, 5 April 2012