MSC implements war risk surcharge on Venezuela cargo

In a move that might have implications for the cargo insurance sector, Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s second-largest liner, has announced that it would be imposing a war risk premium surcharge on cargo being delivered to Venezuela, with immediate effect.

MSC said that its decision was made “amid the imposition of sanctions related to Venezuela, and the ongoing political volatility in that country”.

MSC did not specify how much extra they would be charging clients for boxes bound for Venezuela.

Maersk subsidiary Hamburg Sud and Florida-based King Ocean Services have added a surcharge of $1,200 per container for Venezuela shipments.

The UK War Risks website has said that the additional premiums in Venezuelan waters were a response to a number of expropriations of ships and other maritime assets by the Venezuelan government via its national shipping and port companies.

A number of countries, including the US, have imposed sanctions on the country. The US sanctions include a targeting of Venezuela’s state oil and natural gas company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

Leading US hawk on the matter, John Bolton, US National Security Affairs Adviser, said at the weekend that “The US will continue tightening sanctions on oil and its derivatives until freedom and democracy are restored in Venezuela. International companies that continue doing business with sanctioned PDVSA are on notice”.