Cameroon Flag on Tankers Banned in UAE Over Safety Concerns

Close up of the Cameroonian flag
Updated Published

The United Arab Emirates has prohibited ships bearing the flag of Cameroon from entering its waters. This measure is intended to create a separation between the emirate and potentially hazardous vessels that are organized for the purpose of transporting sanctioned oil.

As per a circular released on the Port of Fujairah website by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the flag of Cameroon is now on a restricted list. Maritime companies and ship agents are instructed to refrain from providing services to vessels registered in this African country. It's essential to note that the prohibition does not extend to ships evaluated by a broader international classification body.

Many commercial vessels operate under flags that differ from the nations of their ownership or operation. Notable examples encompass Panama and the Marshall Islands, which play a crucial role in maintaining safety regulations within the maritime sector.

However, when confronted with U.S. sanctions, Russia strategically organized an extensive clandestine armada of tankers to ensure the continuous flow of its oil. As a response, a segment of this fleet opted for lesser-known flags, including those of Cameroon.

As of the middle of last year, Cameroon was labeled as having a considerable risk of vessels encountering safety inspection issues when making port calls.

The fleet of oil tankers registered in Cameroon is relatively compact, yet a significant number of them have made trips to Russia within the last year.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 11 out of the 14 oil vessels flying the flag of Cameroon and possessing the appropriate size to gather oil from Russian ports have engaged in this activity over the last year.

They constitute a fraction below 1% of the entirety of oil shipments from Russia.