Turkish Government’s New Notice to Ships in Turkish Waters

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Credit: Meriç Dağlı/Unsplash

According to a notice from the Turkish government dated 16 November 2022, all ships transiting or entering Turkish waters as of the first day of December 2022 (later extended to the second day) must present letters of assurance from the owner’s P&I Club attesting that coverage will be in place at all times during the transit, while the ship is in Turkish waters, or while it is in a port or terminal.

Cannot and should not message!

After careful consideration by the International Group, it has been decided that Clubs cannot and should not send such a message to their Owner or Charterer members.

The broad information in a letter of confirmation of entrance is not all that the Turkish government requires. It is necessary for a P&I Club to certify that coverage won’t be jeopardised in any situation, especially when the assured violates sanctions—whether knowingly and purposefully or mistakenly and unknowingly.

Under these conditions, sending a confirmatory letter would put the Club in violation of sanctions under EU, UK, and US law, hence the Clubs are unable to accede to the Turkish Authority’s request.

Negotiating resolution

The International Group has tried to negotiate a resolution to this problem, and additional talks with the relevant Turkish Authorities are likely to happen on Monday, December 5.

It’s vital to keep in mind that the current situation resulted from the establishment of the Russian Oil Price Cap regime on December 5, 2022, which will forbid the transport of Russian oil and related insurance services when its price climbs above the cap set by the G7 and its coalition allies.

Withdrawal of cover 

The request for letters of confirmation from P&I Clubs stating that the provision of a Member’s P&I cover will not be subject to the Rules on cover sanctions clauses, or other exclusion clauses that could result in the withdrawal of cover even when it turns out that damage has been caused by a sanctioned cargo is motivated by the impending introduction of this new Russian oil waiver programme.

Dealing with bans

Clubs are unable to give such letters as a result.

It is obvious that Members will want to keep travelling through Turkish-controlled international waterways and waters. However, the issue that Members are currently dealing with is directly related to the bans that the US, UK, and EU have placed on Russian oil. It should be noted that oil cargoes from Russia that were loaded before December 5 are subject to a grace period that ends on January 19.

 

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Source: Skuld

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