IRClass Withdraws Security Protection from Russian Tankers Under US Sanctions

Russia intervenes after India abandons security protection
India's ship certification authority withdrew security protection from Russian oil tankers under US sanctions, turning to a domestic provider. Insurers and manufacturers also withdrew coverage from the Russian tanker fleet. IRClass provided certification for Russian ships, but the US Treasury imposed sanctions on some ships, leading to changes in certification and ownership.
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India’s ship certification authority, Indian Register of Ships (IRClass), has withdrawn security protection from Russian oil tankers under US sanctions and has shifted them to a domestic provider. Major insurers and marine engine manufacturers have already withdrawn insurance coverage from the Russian tanker fleet, causing issues for Moscow’s oil trade. The move was prompted by sanctions imposed by the US and its allies, including the European Union, following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

IRClass, a leading ship certifier under the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), had provided safety certification for Russian ships in the past. However, following US sanctions on 14 ships certified by IRClass, some vessels have had their coverage withdrawn and have been transferred to the Russian Maritime Shipping Register (RSClass). The lack of IACS protection could make it challenging for these ships to enter certain ports, including India.

Most of the sanctioned tankers, which have undergone name changes since losing IRClass certification, are currently anchored in or heading to Russian ports like Nakhodka, Vladivostok, Ust-Luga, and Novorossisk. Despite requests for comment, IRClass and RSClass did not respond. The withdrawal of security coverage from these vessels is a significant development that could impact the global shipping industry.

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