Rome-based PB Tankers has filed for court protection in Italy under the bankruptcy law following the action taken by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control to add the company and six tankers to the current sanctions list in relation to trade with Venezuela.
The company said it is “shocked and concerned” by the US action, and noted that it has “been taking regular advice from both its UK and US lawyers and all possible steps to ensure compliance with current US sanctions including, but not limited to, restriction of trade under a single time charter contract which predates the current sanctions regime”.
The company, part of the Pietro Barbaro group, opted for the ‘article 161 comma 6’ procedure and has 120 days starting from mid-June to prepare and present a financial restructuring plan which will be examined by the court. If approved, the procedure will then fall under article 182 in Italy’s bankruptcy law.
PB Tankers had already started negotiations with creditors and lenders in 2017 due to worsening financial results.