Japan is considering taking on the liability exposure for tankers that bring Iranian oil to the East Asian country to continue importing crude even after the full enforcement of the European Union's oil sanctions.
The Japanese business daily the Nikkei said that most of this liability coverage has been offered by the Japan Shipowners' Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (JPIA), Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Under Japanese law, shipping companies must obtain liability insurance against damages from accidents, including oil spills and fatalities.
Providing sovereign insurance is among the options being considered, the International Oil Daily reported earlier this month, citing an unidentified Japanese government official familiar with the situation.
Averting the sanctions through negotiations with the EU remains the government's top priority, according to the official.
EU diplomats said this month that the European Union will carry out its planned review of its oil embargo on Iran in June, and will also review the timing of a ban on European companies insuring the transport of Iranian crude oil exports.
The review of the full oil embargo, which is due to come into effect July 1, was promised in January as a condition for gaining Greek support for the measure.
The shipping insurance ban was finalized in April but the UK won temporary exemptions to allow European companies to provide liability and environmental insurance on shipments of Iranian crude until July 1.
It would require a unanimous decision by all 27 member states to allow any change to the details of the embargo and the shipping insurance ban.
Given a second round of talks between Iran and six major powers set to take place in Baghdad today, the EU may opt for some changes in the review, or annul the sanctions totally.