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Palau cancels sanctioned VLCC Young Yong's insurance certificate

Russian company Ingosstrakh is the insurance provider for the very large crude carrier Young Yong

PISR has also issued a certificate of insurance for other Djibouti-sanctioned vessels

A VERY large crude carrier sanctioned by the US that was deflagged by Djibouti early this month had its certificate of insurance cancelled by the Palau International Ship Registry.

The certificate of insurance carried by Young Yong (IMO: 9194127) was issued by the PISR office in Greece on July 19 and was due to expire on March 25, 2023, according to documents seen by Lloyd’s List.

However, in the wake of US sanctions issued against Young Yong and anothe 10 other vessels on November 3 for their links to Iranian and Venezuelan oil smuggling, PISR invalidated the vessel’s so-called Nairobi Wreck Removal Certificate on November 7.

Djibouti has not ratified the Nairobi Convention on the Removal of Wrecks so PISR issued the certificate on behalf of the African state, according to a source familiar with the situation. 

The vessel’s registered owner named on the document is Technology Bright International Co Ltd, with a registered address of the Trust Company Complex, Ajeltake Road, Ajeltake Island, Majuro, in the Marshall Islands.

Russian insurance firm Insgosstrakh issued Young Yong’s blue card on March 18. The insurance coverage period was between March 26 this year to March 25, 2023. It shows the same registered owner and address, according to the documents.

PISR does not have details about the ownership of Technology Bright International, according to a source familiar with the situation. “The issuance of certificate of insurance as well as the cancellation were both done on a request by an agency,” the person said.

The source familiar with the situation confirmed that PISR also issued the certificate of insurance for other Djibouti-sanctioned vessels, including panamax product tankers Bueno (IMO: 9282443), Bluefins (IMO: 9221657), Boceanica (IMO: 9267132) and B Luminosa (IMO: 9256016).

The certificates of insurance for these vessels have all been cancelled, the source familiar with the situation said. 

PISR does not issue certificates of insurance for the other remaining sanctioned flags — Panama-flagged very large crude carriers Adisa (IMO: 9304667) and Nolan (IMO: 9179701), Panama-flagged aframax Zephyr I (IMO: 9255880), Liberia-flagged suezmax vessels Julia A (IMO: 9236353) and Lara I (IMO: 9231767), and Cook Islands-flagged aframax Rain Drop (IMO: 9233208).

As reported, flag registries of Djibouti, Panama, Liberia and the Cook Islands are handled by the Global Maritime Consultants Group, a ship registry agency headquartered in Cyprus.

GMCG declined to comment, citing non-disclosure agreements signed with clients. Ingosstrakh did not respond to several emails requesting comment.

The US Treasury Department sanctioned Young Yong and the 10 other vessels earlier this month for their links to Iranian and Venezuelan oil smuggling. Djibouti also suspended the flag registration because it found the vessel to have been “engaged in illegal actions”.

The other 10 vessels linked to the smuggling network are also likely to follow suit and be delisted by their respective flag registries.

The blue cards of all the vessels, also issued by Ingosstrakh, have been cancelled, but the Russian insurer has not issued any official letters to confirm the cancellation.

Once the flag registries receive official letters from the insurance company, the blacklisted vessels will be removed from their current respective registries, another source familiar with the situation told Lloyd’s List in the past week.

The Indonesian authorities, led by the Port Authority of Tanjung Balai Karimun, refloated Young Yong in the past week.

Indonesia will decide what to do with the 2m barrels of oil on board, which are controlled by Hong Kong-based East Wind Ship Management, once it gets clarity on its origin, Tanjung Balai Karimun port authority head Jon Kenedi said.

Subterfuge trades conducted by Young Yong and linked to Iran and Venezuela have been tracked since it was sold in mid-2021. It had been used for floating storage in international waters off eastern Malaysia and regularly shuttled to western Malaysia for ship-to-ship transfers.

Clarification – February 23, 2023

Following publication of this story on November 14, 2022, Palau International Ship Registry has clarified the details of the tanker Young Young’s insurance status following the issuance of US sanctions.

On July 19, 2022, PISR issued a Nairobi Wreck Removal Certificate valid until March 25, 2023, under the flag of Djibouti and Insurer Ingosstrakhh Insurance Company.

At the time of processing the NWRC, PISR followed the sanction vetting process and due diligence, and the vessel/owners were found clean of any sanctions lists.

While the NWRC was still valid, on November 4, 2022, PISR was notified by Ingosstrakhh Insurance Company that the vessel had been added to the Ofac list. PISR invalidated the NWRC certificate on November 7, 2022, and notified the Insurer and the Deputy Registrar’s office accordingly.

The headline of this story and some details have been amended accordingly based on the documentation provided to Lloyd’s List by PISR.

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