LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates is tightening insurance requirements for ships registered under its flag amid growing concern over ships sailing without first-class insurance cover in the event of an oil spill, according to a government notice.
Ships typically carry P&I (Protection and Indemnity) insurance, covering liability claims including environmental damage and personal injury. Separate hull and machinery insurances cover ships against property damage.
About 90% of the world’s sea tonnage is covered by the 12 marine insurers of the International Group (IG).
P&I insurers outside of the IG covering UAE-flagged vessels must meet a number of requirements, including proof of membership in a recognized maritime professional agency or regulatory body, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said in a recommendation published on June 2, its website.
Other requirements include providing details of the top five settled claims or details of claims over $10 million, the statement said, adding that applications must be filed before June 30.
The notice, which was also aimed at shipowners, said evidence of so-called blue cards covering pollution damage would have to be presented.
UAE officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The UAE-flagged fleet includes dozens of oil tankers – many of them old – and over 200 offshore vessels typically used in oil trading, according to shipping data from the public database Equasis.
Not fully regulated, hundreds of “ghost” tankers have joined an opaque parallel shipping trade in recent years, transporting oil from countries hit by Western sanctions and restrictions, including Russia and Iran.
A Reuters investigation found that the number of incidents in the past year, including groundings, collisions and near misses involving these vessels, reached the highest level in years.
Ports in China’s Shandong province are demanding more detailed information on oil tankers older than 15 years calling at their terminals, sources familiar with the matter said this week.
(Additional reporting by Lisa Barrington in Dubai, edited by Mark Potter)
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