THE Japanese government is considering asking parliament to pass a law that would permit the government to offer insurance cover on Iranian oil imports, Japanese officials said today.
The aim would be for the law to be passed by the end of June, ahead of the July 1 deadline, when European reinsurers and insurers will stop offering protection for tankers carrying Iranian crude. Tanker owners could not go “naked” on their cargo even if they wanted to, because Japanese law requires shipping companies entering Japanese territorial waters to have in place liability insurance against oil spillage. Previously that cover had tended to be provided by the Japan P&I club, but the club has said that it can no longer offer cover of more than $8m on tankers if it is unable to obtain reinsurance protection from the London market. Nikkei
reported earlier this month that the Japanese government was looking at sovereign guarantees as a means of keeping in motion the already reduced Iranian oil flow.