Russian oil tankers get India safety cover via Dubai firm

Published June 23, 2022
The logo of Russian state shipping company Sovcomflot is seen on the multifunctional icebreaking standby vessel "Yevgeny Primakov" moored in central St Petersburg, Russia on February 3, 2018. — Reuters/File
The logo of Russian state shipping company Sovcomflot is seen on the multifunctional icebreaking standby vessel "Yevgeny Primakov" moored in central St Petersburg, Russia on February 3, 2018. — Reuters/File

NEW DELHI: India is providing safety certification for dozens of ships managed by a subsidiary of top Russian shipping group Sovcomflot, official data showed, enabling oil exports to India and elsewhere after Western certifiers withdrew their services due to global sanctions against Moscow.

Certification by the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), one of the world’s top classification companies, provides a final link in the paperwork chain — after insurance coverage — needed to keep state-owned Sovcomflot’s tanker fleet afloat and delivering Russian crude oil to overseas markets.

Data compiled from the IRClass website shows that it has certified more than 80 ships managed by SCF Management Services Ltd, a Dubai-based entity listed as a subsidiary on Sovcomflot’s website.

An Indian shipping source familiar with the certification process said most of Sovcomflot’s vessels had now migrated to IRClass, via the Dubai arm.

Classification societies certify that ships are safe and seaworthy, which is essential for securing insurance and for gaining access to ports.

Russia’s crude oil sector, hit by strict sanctions due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, has been forced to seek buyers outside the West while turning to Russian transporters and insurers to handle its exports.

India has sharply boosted Russian crude oil purchases in recent months.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2022

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