Iranian tankers are to be registered under Panama’s flag which will enable them to pass through one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Panama Canal, the two countries agreed.
Director of National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) Ali Akbar Safaei announced the deal following a meeting with Jorge Barakat Pitty, Panama’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority in Tehran, the Iranian Mehr news agency informs.
The deal has been prompted following the lifting of sanctions early January against Iran which had its tankers fly flags of African countries like Tanzania during the sanctions period.
Iran is said to be seeking an investment worth USD 2.5 billion to upgrade its oil tanker fleet as it gears up to restore pre-sanction shipping links.
The investment is needed in order for the company’s fleet to be able to compete with international counterparts that have predominantly more modern and younger ships.
Separately, the country has managed to ensure classifications for its first two ships with Italy’s RINA Services and the Asian Classification Society (ACS) following the sanctions’ lifting. The vessel pair are two general cargo ships at 15,000 GT owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).
World Maritime News Staff