Thousands of ships set to be hit by India's age restrictions

Greek data firm MarineTraffic has provided some details of the ramifications of the upcoming Indian ban on older ships.

New Delhi is readying age restrictions for ships calling at the world’s second most populous nation.

Under the new rules no bulk carriertanker or general cargo ship aged 25 or older will be allowed to call at Indian ports. For gas carriers, offshore vessels and boxships the age limit will be set at 30 years. Locally flagged ships will be deregistered when they hit these new age limits. Furthermore, owners will not be able to locally flag any secondhand acquisitions that are 20 years old or above.

MarineTraffic data shows that 3,802 tankers and bulkers built prior to 1998 arrived in India in 2022.

Regarding the new rule ito ban ships older than 20 years from registering with the Indian flag, MarineTraffic notes there are currently 753 ships built prior to 2003, which are registered under the Indian flag, 133 of which are tankers and 61 bulkers.

According to Xclusiv Shipbrokers, India is responsible for 17% of the world seaborne iron ore trade, 19% of the world’s seaborne coal trade and 2% of the world’s seaborne grain trade. On the wet market, India is responsible for 12% of the world’s seaborne crude oil trade and 7% of the world’s seaborne oil product trade.

“Although operators of older vessels only face losing access to one country, India’s growth is only set to make this restriction more significant as time goes by,” a recent report from Allied Shipbroking suggested.