With regard to certain requirements stipulated under international conventions and Turkish law, Turkish flagged vessels are required to have P&I cover from a club/company accredited by the Turkish Ministry of Transport in order to be able to complete certain procedures before harbour masters. In this regard, a list of accredited P&I insurance providers is kept by the Ministry of Transport pursuant to the standards set in a regulation issued by the Ministry. The said regulation was abolished with the entry into force of a new regulation ("Regulation") on 30 May 2017 and the standards for being considered an accredited P&I insurance provider have been amended significantly.
Previously, there were three groups in the list of accredited P&I insurance providers:
- Group 1: P&I Clubs who are a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs
- Group 2: Clubs/companies who are not within Group 1 and have a minimum credit rating of BBB from a recognized international credit agency (A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Standard and Poor's or Moody's)
- Group 3: Clubs/companies who are not a part of Group 1 or 2 but fulfil other requirements
With the entry into force of the new Regulation, Group 3 has been abolished entirely and the standards required of Group 2 clubs/companies have been increased significantly. Among the new standards set for Group 2 is the requirement of a minimum credit rating of A- issued by A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Standard and Poor's or Moody's. The standards for Group 1 Clubs (IG clubs) and local P&I insurance providers (Turk P&I) remain unchanged.
The Ministry explained that the basis of the introduction of higher standards was an effort to increase the strength of the P&I cover of the Turkish fleet especially in light of recent pollution incidents. Please note though that there is no requirement for every vessel to have P&I cover from an accredited club/company. The Regulation is applicable merely to Turkish flagged vessels and that is under certain circumstances. Examples of the scope of application of the Regulation are:
- CLC and BUNKER certificates such as Blue Cards
- Passenger vessels certified to carry more than 12 passengers on board
- Vessels to be imported into Turkey
The scope of application is expected to be extended as Turkey becomes a party to more and more international conventions and the wording of the new Regulation allows for such extension. Having said that, the scope of application is still limited to Turkish flagged vessels.
All clubs/companies who are currently accredited - except for Group 1 clubs - must renew their applications pursuant to the newly introduced criteria until 30 November 2017. Until a new list of accredited P&I insurance providers is published, the list that is currently applicable will remain in force.
Originally published 31 May 2017
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.