UK sidesteps its own sanctions on Russian oil – The Sunday Times – RT Business News

UK sidesteps its own sanctions on Russian oil

The companies are using a loophole that allows them to record Russian fuel as coming from elsewhere after ship-to-ship transfers, the news outlet reports.

The UK has bought at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the shipments were recorded as imports from other countries, the Sunday Times reported, citing tanker traffic data and trade statistics.

Russian-origin oil shipments, worth around £200 ($236) million, were delivered to UK ports after ship-to-ship transfers, a practice widely used when large tankers unable to due to their size they transfer their cargo to smaller ports.

According to the Sunday Times findings, this practice gives shipping companies a way to record their cargo without providing the actual origin of the shipments, instead indicating the country of shipment as the source of the cargo. In this way, a consignment of products made in Russia can be registered as originating in Germany if it is brought to a UK port by a German company.

The news outlet was able to trace dozens of shipments of Russian oil arriving at UK ports since March, recorded as originating in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, France and other countries. According to reports, at least 13 of them arrived in June and July. However, official figures on oil imports from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the country received no oil from Russia in those months.

According to maritime experts, ship-to-ship transfers have become more popular since Western nations began targeting Russian oil exports this year as part of sanctions over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

“Ship-to-ship transfers have become a really useful method of obfuscating the destination and origin of cargo. The Iranians started it, the Venezuelans perfected it, the Russians picked it up and ran with it,Michelle Wiese Bockmann, an energy and shipping analyst for shipping magazine Lloyd’s List, told the news outlet. According to Refinitiv, which monitors ship-to-ship transfers, there have been some 267 such transfers around the world involving Russian oil since March.

The UK embargo on maritime imports of Russian oil is scheduled to come into force on December 5. However, according to maritime experts, given the registration loophole and ship-to-ship transfer practices, it will be difficult for the UK to stop Russian oil. to arrive in the country, even after that date.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.