Singapore cracks down on tankers with substandard insurance

33 ships held this year alone, equivalent to the whole decade through 2019

Singapore cracks down on tankers with substandard insurance


By Kenneth Araullo

Singapore has been cracking down on oil and chemical tankers with substandard insurance policies amid the state’s concerns over environmental and safety impact coming from ageing vessels that enter major shipping lanes.

In this year alone, Singapore has held 33 ships that have failed safety inspections. This number is the same as for the whole decade up to 2019, according to figures from a regional port control organization. The clampdowns reached their peak in April as nine tankers saw detention, the most for any month since at least 2010.

According to a report from The Edge Singapore, this is a trend across the region as rising detentions soar in Asia since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sanctions imposed have resulted in an expansion of a dark fleet of tankers sailing under the radar whilst transporting sanctioned oil to buyers in China, India, and other countries.

These ships usually have substandard insurance and are past the age at which they would normally be scrapped. The risks grow more concerning as Singapore is a frequent stopping point in the journey towards North Asia and is one of the busiest oil ports in the world.

Last year, Singapore detained 28 vessels, with all but two recorded happening in June.

Elsewhere in the country, an ex-Chubb Singapore employee has been charged with multiple counts of cheating after allegedly duping the insurer into paying out more than $8.9 million in false claims.

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