August 15, 2022 [Safety4Sea] – The U.S. Treasury issued new guidance on a proposed Western price cap on Russian oil exports, saying that maritime services providers would not be held liable for false pricing information provided by buyers and sellers of Russian crude.
As Reuters informs, the Treasury explains that those purchasing Russian crude at prices above the cap, and who knowingly provide false documentation could be subject to investigations for sanctions violations. It specifically said that governments participating in the cap would share such information to help police it.
The price cap plan agreed by G7 wealthy nations calls for participating countries to deny insurance, finance, brokering, navigation and other services to oil cargoes priced above a yet-to-be-determined price cap on crude and oil products.
The Treasury added that these service providers should retain records on Russian oil shipments for five years. More notably, it mentioned that “where a service provider without direct access to price information reasonably relies on a customer attestation, that service provider will not be held liable for potential sanctions breaches because of those acting in bad faith” who seek to violate or evade the cap.”
Nonetheless, Treasury warned these firms to be “vigilant” regarding red flags indicating potential evasion or fraud, including evidence of deceptive shipping practices, refusal to provide requested price information, unusually favorable terms that could indicate a back-end arrangement to evade the price cap, or excessively high services costs.
As it said, any signs of manipulated documents, newly formed companies and abnormal shipping routes should also raise concerns. Now, the countries participating in the price cap will collaborate to set the cap levels for Russian crude oil and high-volume and low-volume petroleum product cargoes.