The European Commission’s plans to ban Russian oil imports into the continent this year, as reported by Splash yesterday, are set to face a very significant fallout for shipping. Reuters is reporting that the European Commission has proposed to ban from June all shipping, brokerage, insurance and financing services offered by EU companies for the transport of Russian oil worldwide. Citing an unnamed EU official as a source, the shipping and ship services ban would apply to Russian exports of oil worldwide, albeit that Russian exporters could still source such services from outside the bloc.
Many P&I clubs, banks as well as class societies have already suspended doing business with Russia since it invaded Ukraine on February 24.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday, proposed to EU’s member nations to phase out imports of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year, something she conceded would take some persuading to pass via all 27 members, many of whom are especially reliant on Russia for energy security.
The EU already has an embargo on Russian coal imports in place while discussions are ongoing on how best to ween the continent off Russia’s natural gas supplies with many countries busy in recent weeks seeking out floating gas platform solutions.
The EU oil ban would require all 27 members to agree, something that could prove difficult with Hungary and Slovakia in particular voicing opposition to the move.