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Spain denies entry to Singapore-flagged tanker for carrying Russian-origin diesel

14 Feb 2023

Spain has prohibited the entry of Singapore-flagged tanker Maersk Magellan into Tarragona port due to it transporting oil products originating from a Russian ship, Spain’s Transport Ministry said on Friday (10 February).

In a statement, the ministry said Maersk Magellan was planning to unload the diesel at Tarragona, after receiving the cargo from the Cameroon-flagged Nobel, which until 1 July sailed under a Russian flag.

The ministry added the denied entry was done to comply with EU regulations prohibiting access to any vessel registered under the Russian flag after 16 April 2022 and also to Russian-flagged ships that switched to another flag after 24 February 2022. 

“This was the case of the Nobel ship, from which the cargo originally came from, which flew the Russian flag until it changed to the Cameroon flag on 1 July of last year,” it said. 

The Tarragona Maritime Captaincy learnt that Maersk Magellan had carried out a ship-to-ship transfer from a third ship, Elephant, in the Alboran Sea in the vicinity of El Estrecho. 

During investigations, the certificate of origin for the diesel cargo of Elephant was found, stating it came from the Nobel

“After these verifications, today the prohibition of access to the Port of Tarragona to the ship Maersk Magellan has been agreed for having breached the European regulations (article 12 of EU Regulation number 833/2014) that prohibits deliberate participation in activities whose purpose or effect is to circumvent the prohibitions established by the European Union after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia,” the ministry stated.

This is not the first time that the Spanish Maritime Administration has prohibited the entry into a Spanish port of a ship whose merchandise originally came from a Russian-flagged ship. In April last year, the Barcelona Maritime Authority already denied port access to the Maltese-flagged ship Black Star for transporting cargo from a Russian-flagged ship, after carrying out a STS operation near Malt.


Photo credit: Marine Traffic / Robbie Cox
Published: 14 February, 2023

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