India’s shipping ministry will follow foreign ministry advice when deciding whether to allow a ship carrying Russian oil that has been placed under U.S. sanctions to berth at an Indian port, the country’s shipping regulator said.
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on three maritime companies and three vessels owned by them for shipping Russian oil sold above a price cap imposed by the Group of Seven nations, as Washington seeks to close loopholes in the mechanism designed to punish Moscow for its war in Ukraine.
“The port entry rule does not specifically debar a vessel from berthing at any port,” Shyam Jagannathan, director general of the Directorate General of Shipping told reporters at an industry event.
One of the vessels, the Liberia-flagged NS Century, is currently on its way to discharge Sokol crude at Vadinar port in western Gujarat state for Indian Oil Corp IOC.NS on Nov. 25, ship tracking data from LSEG and Kpler showed.
India’s port entry rules are silent on the entry of vessels under international sanctions.
“The government is empowered to take a decision on this,” Jagannathan said.
He said depending on India’s sovereign relationship and strategic concern, the foreign ministry can take a decision to bar a vessel from berthing at an Indian port.
“If they tell me that the vessel is to be barred, I will communicate it to the port authority”.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)