Vessel Protect, a specialist war risk underwriter and part of Pen Underwriting, has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting commercial operators who are looking to export Ukrainian grain, as the new maritime corridor “begins to gain traction”.
Munro Anderson, Head of Operations at Vessel Protect, noted that the firm is seeing renewed confidence among commercial operators keen to take Ukrainian grain cargoes following the establishment of the new export mechanism and maritime corridor.
To date, 12 vessels have successfully transited inbound Ukraine using the new grain corridor and, of these, six have completed loading and made outbound passage, exporting Ukrainian grain.
Anderson said Vessel Protect has been at the heart of supporting these transits, providing much-needed continuity of cover for maritime operators.
He continued, “The new export mechanism has been welcomed by the maritime industry, and the support offered to insurers by Ukraine has provided increased clarity for commercial operators, resulting in renewed confidence.
“There remains considerable appetite for Ukrainian grain cargoes, as evidenced by the success of the UN-brokered deal, and the recent spate of successful transits has led to a significant increase in inquiries. However, we expect the volume of shipments to remain steady while market confidence grows and until stability is demonstrated across the medium to long term.
“Efforts to restore the original parameters of the UN-backed grain deal remain preferable owing to Russia’s involvement in such a mechanism. But in the absence of such a deal, commercial operators are highly likely to continue seeking to conduct lawful trade through Ukrainian waters.”
Chris Goddard, CEO of Vessel Protect, added, “Vessel Protect remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting vessels trading within Ukrainian waters. We are proud to be at the forefront in offering continuity of cover to commercial maritime operators, helping them to navigate these challenging times.
“Both the ever-changing geopolitical climate and maritime conditions demand robust and rigorous underwriting, and we will continue to evaluate all risks on an individual basis, taking into account all parties and the available context surrounding each and every transit. Our recent investment in maritime risk intelligence to sit alongside our deep insurance expertise is enabling us to take the necessary nuanced approach underpinned by robust underwriting.
“Vessel Protect’s ability to provide additional expert insight and risk analysis to brokers and their shipowner clients is a key differentiator that’s enabling us to pledge our ongoing support to commercial operators in this area.”