* Move dependent on green light from U.N. nuclear watchdog
* U.S. planning to lift some sanctions from same date
BRUSSELS/LONDON Jan 13 European Union
governments will implement all EU sanctions relief for Iran
covered by a landmark nuclear deal on Jan. 20, the day the
agreement takes effect - including lifting a ban on insuring its
oil, officials said on Monday.
Under the Nov. 24 accord, the EU will suspend for six months
a ban on insuring and transporting Iranian oil, as well as a
trade ban affecting the country's petrochemicals, gold and other
The accord will go into effect next Monday provided the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear
watchdog, confirms Iran is carrying out its part of the deal,
meaning curbing its most sensitive nuclear work.
"Everything the EU does goes into effect on Jan. 20," one EU
Oil markets are watching the insurance provisions closely
because Europe's Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs provide
cover for most of the global oil tanker market.
The body whose members provide liability cover to 95 percent
of the world's tanker fleet said it welcomed the move but would
take a step-by-step approach to insuring Iranian energy cargoes
The deal also allows third-country purchases of Iranian oil
to remain at current levels but does not envisage higher Iranian
Specialist P&I insurers, mutually owned by shipping lines,
dominate the market for insuring ocean-going vessels against
pollution and injury claims, the biggest costs when a tanker
sinks. Vessels transporting Iranian crude have been left with
limited alternatives, mostly set up by importers.
"We would welcome the relaxation," said Andrew Bardot,
executive officer of the International Group of P&I clubs.
"We see it as a move in the right direction towards ensuring
that ship owners that are carrying these oil cargoes can have
access to proper insurance and liability insurance cover."
Insurance specialists say even with the limited lifting of
restrictions, it will take time before insurance providers will
be able provide cover.
"It will be a relatively limited and gradual approach,"
The issue of providing cover is further complicated as a
number of Iranian companies, including Tehran's top oil tanker
group NITC, remain under sanctions.
The United States, which is a party to the accord alongside
China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, estimates that
sanctions relief provided to Iran under the agreement should be
worth around $7 billion.
Washington will lift some U.S. sanctions on the first day of
the six-month agreement's implementation and some will be
withheld until its final day. It has agreed to unblock Iranian
access to $4.2 billion in oil revenues held abroad, but that
will come in tranches.
The six countries negotiating with Iran hope the interim
deal will give them time to hammer out a final settlement with
the Islamic Republic.
(Reporting by Justyna Pawlak and Jonathan Saul in London;
Editing by John Stonestreet)