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US to sanction Türkiye- and Russia-owned tankers for oil price cap breaches

Action taken to sanction ‘two entities and identify vessels as property in which those entities have an interest’, Price Cap Coalition maritime advisory says

Aframax tanker Yasa Golden Bosphorus and suezmax tanker SCF Primorye singled out by US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control for carrying Russian oil above the price cap

TWO tankers said to have shipped Russian oil in breach of the G7 price cap faced sanctions from the US in the first enforcement against shipping since the bans were implemented last December.

The Marshall Islands-flagged aframax tanker Yasa Golden Bosphorus (IMO: 9334038) and Liberia-flagged suezmax tanker SCF Primorye (IMO: 9421960) both used US-based services providers while transporting the Russian origin oil, according to the Group of Seven industrialised nations maritime advisory issued today.



The US was “taking action to impose sanctions on two entities and identify vessels as property in which those entities have an interest”, the statement said, without further elaboration.

Yasa Golden Bosphorus loaded a cargo from Kozmino around April 3, and discharged near the Sinopec Dongjiakou terminal at Qingdao, Shandong in China, on April 17, vessel-tracking shows.

The vessel is now sailing for Houston, after calling earlier in Canada.

The vessel’s insurer, London-based Britannia P&I Club, was approached for comment, as was the Marshall Islands registry, which not only flagged the vessel but was where the single-ship registered owner, Ice Pearl Navigation Corp was based.

The registry is run on behalf of Marshall Islands by the US-incorporated private company International Registries Inc.

The ISM and commercial manager is Istanbul-based Ya-Sa Tanker Isletmeciligi, shipping databases show. The company is linked to Yalçın Sabancı, who is from one of Turkey’s richest families. The company has been approached for comment.



SCF Primorye is beneficially owned by Russia-controlled Sovcomflot, whose fleet of around 80 tankers regularly ship Russian oil in breach of G7 price cap and embargoes. Sovcomflot declined to comment.

The Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry, which flags this tanker and many others in the Sovcomflot fleet, was approached for comment but did not respond by deadline.

The US Treasury statement singling out these two tankers was published alongside an advisory from the Price Cap Coalition of Australia, Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. It listed recommendations for Western marine service providers to avoid price cap breaches and identify deceptive shipping practices.

The $60 per barrel price cap on Russian crude was imposed on December 5, and on refined products from February 5 along with import bans to Europe.

The cap is meant to keeping oil flowing while limiting revenues to Russia to constrain its war in Ukraine. Recent global oil price gains pushed monthly revenues in September to the highest since July 2022, the International Energy Agency said in its oil market report today.

Those involved in shipping cargoes in line with the price cap must provide attestations that the cargo is compliant.

About 46% of the tankers, measured by deadweight, that sailed from eight key Russian export ports over September were part of the “dark fleet” based on Lloyd’s List methodology*.

A further 26% were Greece-owned and had accompanying attestation, even as price assessments showed that crude and diesel prices were well above the cap, also acknowledged in the advisory published today.

Although the evolution of elderly, anonymously owned tankers to ship Russian oil was cited, the two tankers targeted by the US were not part of the dark fleet.

The Turkish-owned tanker is now deployed in mainstream trades while the Sovcomflot-owned ship is one of some 80 used by the Russia-controlled shipowner for transporting crude and refined products.

Analysis in September showed that of the 300 tankers tracked calling at eight major export ports in Russia, 163 did not have P&I cover with the International Group, a proxy for compliance.

“Engagement with maritime industry partners has been key to the development of the price cap policy,” the maritime guidance said.

“As the coalition has made clear from the outset of the policy, good-faith actors can continue to rely on proportionate, case-by-case enforcement and concepts such as the ‘safe harbour’ established by the US price cap compliance framework.”


*Lloyd’s List defines a tanker as part of the dark fleet if it is aged 15 years or over, anonymously owned and/or has a corporate structure designed to obfuscate beneficial ownership discovery, solely deployed in sanctioned oil trades, and engaged in one or more of the deceptive shipping practices outlined by US State Department guidance issued in May 2020. The figures exclude tankers tracked to government-controlled shipping entities such as Russia’s Sovcomflot, or Iran’s National Iranian Tanker Co, and those already sanctioned. Download our explainer on the different risk profiles of the dark fleet here

Lloyd’s List Intelligence Seasearcher subscribers can add the Lloyd’s List dark fleet to their watchlists here


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