China P&I Club
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"Key ship insurer the China P&I Club will halt indemnity coverage for tankers carrying Iranian oil from July amid tightening Western sanctions against OPEC's second largest producer, two club officials told Reuters on Thursday... The China P&I Club, whose members include major Chinese shipping firms Sinotrans and COSCO Group, is the first Chinese maritime insurer to confirm it will halt business with tankers operating in Iran, following similar action in Japan. 'Many ship owners want to join our club and want our club to cover this risk, but considering all these regulations from the United States and the EU, I know the China P&I club will not do that,' said a Hong Kong-based official with the insurer, which provides coverage to more than 1,000 vessels. 'The China P&I club will not take the risk. We have asked our members not to go there, if they go there, they take their own risk,' the official added... Asian ship owners will be further limited in their search for insurance to replace their European-based coverage as the China P&I Club was seen as one alternative. It was not clear if other Chinese ship insurers were also planning to reduce tanker coverage... China P&I Club is not a member of the Group of International P&I Clubs, an association of customer-owned ship insurers which cover 95 percent of the world's tankers against pollution and personal injury claims... An official with the China P&I club held out hope that the European Union would decide on a last-minute easing of the sanctions. 'As far as I've seen with these new published sanctions, it seems to us that there might be some room for compromise,' said a Beijing-based club official." (Reuters, "Key China insurer to stop covering tankers with Iran oil," 4/5/2012)