Clubs Warn that an End to Iran Sanctions Will Loosen P&I Restrictions, but Not Right Away

Thursday July 16, 2015

A new nuclear deal between Iran and the so-called P5+1 global powers will mean that existing sanctions can be lifted and protection and indemnity insurance will once again become available to vessels carrying Iranian oil, petrochemicals and natural gas products, Platts reports

A formal resolution confirming the end of sanctions is expected to come later this month, according to reports, though it will be 90 days until the agreement comes into force. 

Despite the news, a number of P&I clubs, including the UK P&I Club, have issued statements warning shippers to exercise caution and to continue to seek the advice of independent third parties before proceeding with trading activities with Iran. 

"At this early stage in the process it is difficult for the club to anticipate the timescale by which the current legislation in the EU (European Union)and U.S. will be repealed or rolled back," said the club. 

"It is, however, clear that the prohibition on the provision of insurance or reinsurance to Iran or the Government of Iran, an Iranian legal person, entity or body, or a natural person or a legal person, entity or body acting on their behalf or at their direction will be lifted, and the current prohibition in respect of the transport of oil, petrochemical and gas products will also be lifted."

The lifting of the EU's ban on P&I for vessels carrying Iranian products is expected to benefit Japan in particular, as the country is a large importer of Iranian oil. 

In the wake of P&I bans, the Japanese government has reportedly been providing a supplementary insurance scheme so that trading activities with Iran could continue. 

Earlier this week, it was reported that the lifting of sanctions could mean another fall in oil prices, to as low as $30 per barrel.