British Companies: Stop Insuring Aviation Fuel Deliveries to Burma

April 20th, 2023  •  Author:   Burma Campaign UK  •  3 minute read
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Burma Campaign UK today called on five British insurance companies to stop providing insurance cover for deliveries of aviation fuel to Burma.

The five companies are: UK P&I, Steamship Mutual, Britannia P&I, North Standard, Shipowners Club.

They are mutual insurance clubs which have provided insurance cover (protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance) to vessels which have delivered aviation fuel to Burma. Their role in the supply chain delivering aviation fuel to Burma was exposed in the Amnesty International Report, Deadly Cargo. The report is available here.

“Any company involved in the supply chain delivering aviation fuel to Burma is potentially complicit in airstrikes against civilians, and should stop immediately,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Without insurance, vessels cannot deliver aviation fuel.”

Since the Burmese military began its attempted coup on 1st February 2021, it has increasingly used airstrikes to try to gain control over the country.

The Burmese military use airstrikes indiscriminately and deliberately against civilian targets, including health clinics, schools, homes, religious buildings and camps for people who had fled previous Burma military attacks.

On 11th April, a Burmese military airstrike in the Sagaing Region in the north of Burma killed around 170 people, including around 40 children.

In February 2022, the British government issued guidance to British companies regarding aviation fuel to Burma. It stated:

“The Myanmar military regularly uses air strikes against civilian targets. If dealing with any entity linked to Myanmar’s aviation sector, businesses should conduct thorough supply chain diligence to ensure that commodities such as jet-fuel do not reach the military.”

The guidance is available here.

In their report, Deadly Cargo, Amnesty International exposed how aviation fuel intended for civilian use was taken by the Burmese military. This means it is impossible to be involved in supplying aviation fuel to Burma and ensure that fuel does not reach the Burmese military. Companies insuring vessels delivering aviation fuel to Burma are not following British government guidance.

Despite its own guidance being broken, the British government has failed to impose sanctions preventing British companies being involved in supplying aviation fuel to Burma. Canada has imposed such sanctions. So far, the British government has only sanctioned Burmese companies and individuals which have sold aviation fuel to the Burmese military.

“Insurers largely operate behind the scenes but play a vital role in the delivery of aviation fuel to Burma,” said Mark Farmaner. “These companies must now publicly commit that they will no longer provide insurance cover for vessels delivering aviation fuel to Burma.”

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