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EU Sanctions Take Aim at Ship-to-Ship Transfers

Ships caught carrying out ship-to-ship (STS) transfers of suspected Russian oil in European waters will be banned from European Union ports, as part of the 11th package of sanctions unveiled by the bloc against Russia yesterday.

The latest sanctions, which were much debated among member states, do not appear to take action against ships who switch off their AIS transponders, a measure that had also been on the table.

Within EU waters in the 17 months since the war in Ukraine started, Russian oil has been transferred from smaller tankers onto larger ships most off Greece and Spain.

Braemar analysis from end-March suggested that demand for tanker space generated by STS transfers onto and off larger ships had grown from an average of 6.7m tonnes per day between 2016 and 2019 to 10.8m tonnes over the past three quarters.

As of the end of March, it made up 5% of all tanker demand. Some of this can be attributed to Russian flows to Asia, but the strong growth of US exports to Europe on VLCCs over the past year has also played its part.

As part of the stretched negotiations between EU members to get yesterday’s sanctions over the line, Ukraine agreed to remove five Greek shipowner names from its War and Sanctions online database.

The website highlights people and corporations who have already been sanctioned since the beginning of the war with Russia, as well as suggesting further candidates for sanctions using Refinitiv as a data provider.

George Economou’s TMS Tankers, George Prokopiou’s Dynacom Tankers along with Andreas Martinos’s Minerva Marine, Nikolas Maritnos’s Thenamaris, and Diamantis Diamantidis’s Delta Tankers were added to the list on the War and Sanctions website as possible candidates for sanctions earlier this year.

Currently, all those companies are marked as suspended from the database during Ukraine’s consultations with the representatives of the European Commission.

Source: Splash247

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