Delay in Naming Insurer Disrupts Iran-India Trade
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian official said the recent disruption to trade exchanges between Iran and India occurred after Iran failed to name an underwriters to provide insurance for container and tanker vessels calling at Indian ports.
Director General of the Asia and Oceania Trade Office of Iran's Trade Promotion Organization Reza Abbasqoli told Tasnim on Tuesday that trade interactions between Tehran and New Delhi have been disrupted for some 11 days, because Iran could not present a domestic underwriter to India so far.
“The (Iranian) minister of economy should introduce the insurance company to the Indian side by sending a letter,” he explained.
According to Abbasqoli, Iran had a three-month deadline to present a new Iranian insurance company to the Indian officials, after Tehran had rejected New Delhi’s proposal to make contracts with a number of foreign insurance providers to cover containers and oil tankers travelling between the two countries.
Reuters reported earlier that oil and container trade between India and Iran has been disrupted due to uncertainty over insurance cover, leaving some ships stranded outside ports in both countries.
According to some Indian industry sources, the delays have occurred because New Delhi had not yet extended approval for Iranian underwriters to provide insurance for container and tanker vessels calling at Indian ports.
A three-month approval by India for Iran's Kish P&I and Moallem Insurance Co to cover container and tanker vessels calling at Indian ports lapsed on September 27.
European Union sanctions against Iran have meant insurers based in Europe - who account for the majority of cover for the tanker market - cannot insure Iranian oil tankers and other vessels.
In mid-September , a top European court ruled that sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), the country’s biggest cargo carrier should be lifted. EU governments have two months to appeal, and sanctions will remain in place until the appeals process is exhausted.