Tightening the Maritime Grip: EU Unveils 12th Sanctions Package Targeting Russian Tankers

Enhanced Regulations Seek Transparency in Tanker Sales to Thwart Circumvention of Import Bans and Price Caps

Crude oil tanker in the sea at sunset.

The European Union has announced its 12th sanctions package targeting Russia, with a notable emphasis on the maritime sector, specifically tankers. The newly imposed sanctions introduce notification regulations governing the sale of tankers to third countries. The primary objective of these rules is to enhance transparency in the sale and export of tankers, particularly in cases involving secondhand carriers. The concern is that such vessels could potentially be employed to circumvent the import ban on Russian crude or petroleum products and undermine the G7 price cap.

The European Council is enforcing stricter compliance measures to reinforce the implementation of the oil price cap and curb any attempts at circumvention. Additionally, an augmented information-sharing mechanism is being introduced to facilitate more effective identification of vessels and entities engaged in deceptive practices. This includes activities such as ship-to-ship transfers designed to conceal the origin or destination of cargo and the manipulation of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data during the transportation of Russian crude oil and petroleum products.

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, emphasized the significance of this 12th sanctions package, describing it as a robust set of new listings and economic measures aimed at further weakening Russia’s war capabilities. Borrell reiterated the EU’s unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine in its fight for freedom and sovereignty, emphasizing the alliance’s determination to stand firm against Russian aggression.

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