Tankers wishing to skirt the sanctions rules for petroleum transport are migrating to registry in Gabon, a country in West Africa.
Insurers and P&I companies are reporting great concern, because Gabon does not exert any control over regulatory and technical matters.
If accidents occur, there are fewer ways to enforce damage claims.
Ships in the gray tanker trade often experience issues docking at ports, and have to rely on ship-to-ship transfers at sea, which are highly dangerous. It’s hard to track shadow tankers, because they may turn off AIS when they near a banned area.
About 1000 tankers. have worked in the shadow fleet. It has grown fast in the last year. Currently BRS shows about 758 tankers, up from 731 in the previous month.
The size of the shadow fleet is a good indicator of how much oil trade is evading the sanctions instituted due to the Ukraine war, as well as trade with Iran.
Sam ChambersMay 23, 2023Shadow fleet shines light on fast-growing Gabon ship registry – Splash247