Insurers call for clarity following Sanchi loss
Jon Guy, marine insurance | 7 February 2018
The Sanchi burst into flames
The marine insurance sector has said it requires greater clarity over the issue of sanctions following Sanchi loss. Credit: IHS Markit
The marine insurance sector has said it requires greater clarity over the issue of sanctions, highlighted by the loss of the Sanchi, last month.
The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) said the market wanted to meet the need of the global marine market, but had to be mindful of sanctions imposed by world governments.
The Iranian oil carrier Sanchi, which was lost in international waters off Japan and China, highlighted the debate over the current US sanctions prohibiting the insurance of Iranian exports, sanctions which have been relaxed by the European Union post the agreement over Iran’s nuclear development programme.
IUMI secretary general, Lars Lange told a press conference in London, “Our thoughts go out to the 32 crew who lost their lives and their families and this loss further highlights that there are people out on the seas to ensure goods reach their destinations in challenging conditions.
“In terms of the Sanchi it remains very early in the loss and there are various issues which have still to be determined. The amount of oil and bunker that has been discharged is still not known, and we are still not in a position to put a value to the loss.
“In terms of the legal issues around sanctions we do not want to speculate, but when it comes to sanctions we have always said that as insurers we will support international sanctions where they are imposed.
“What we want is clarity in those sanctions and in recent years the approach of the United States and the European Union have provided conflicted approaches. If we have clarity then we as an industry can ensure our adherence to those sanctions.”
His views were backed by IUMI president Dieter Berg.
“The seeming conflict in sanctions does not help the insurance industry,” he added. “We would ask for greater clarity so that we as insurers and the client we insure are able to ensure we are not in danger of breaching those sanctions. It would make our job of insuring world trade easier.”