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Tighter UAE ship insurance rules aim to reduce oil spill risk

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Reuters

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) – Stricter requirements have been imposed on some marine insurers covering ships in the United Arab Emirates amid growing concerns over unregulated shipping, the Emirates state news agency (WAM) reported. The aim is to improve environmental safety.

In a circular dated June 2, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure Announced it would tighten insurance standards for ships registered under its flag For insurers who are not part of the leading international group of marine insurance companies (known as the P&I Club), which covers 90% of the world’s ocean-going fleet.

“By prioritizing strict P&I standards, we ensure the safety, financial security and environmental management of maritime activities, attracting reputable investors,” WAM quoted Hessa Al Malek, adviser to the Minister of Maritime Transport Affairs.

The move will also reduce the risk of accidents and oil spills, resulting in a safer and more secure marine environment, WAM said.

Over the past few years, hundreds of poorly regulated “ghost” tankers have joined the opaque parallel shipping trade, carrying oil from countries hit by Western sanctions and restrictions such as Russia and Iran.

The number of accidents last year, including groundings, collisions and near misses involving the ships, reached its highest level in years, a Reuters investigation showed.

In March 2022, the Financial Action Task Force added the UAE to its list of jurisdictions requiring enhanced regulation, the so-called “grey” list.

The UAE, one of the world’s largest maritime hubs, has also become a location for shipping lines to operate without top-tier insurance or other services such as safety certifications offered by the world’s largest provider.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul, Additional reporting by Lisa Barrington in Dubai; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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