New age limits for port calls and ship acquisitions are set to shake up shipping in India.

The Economic Times has seen a draft order from the Directorate General of Shipping banning certain vessels from terminals if they are older than 25 years, as well as imposing age limits on secondhand purchases.

The measures are set to be announced in the next few days, the newspaper claimed.

The idea is to lower emissions and combat pollution, as well as boost the quality of the Indian flag.

The port ban applies to tankers, bulkers, general cargo ships and anchor-handling tug supply vessels, irrespective of the nationality of the charterer.

Gas carriers, container ships, other offshore vessels and tugs will be allowed to operate up to 30 years of age.

Older tankers have been snapped up by Russian interests to keep crude exports flowing into countries such as India and China following the European Union ban on imports of seaborne Russian oil.

The Indian government is also set to bar the secondhand purchase of ships of more than 20 years from registration with its flag.

For dredgers, the limit is 15 years.

Vessels will automatically be deflagged on reaching those ages.

And the draft order stipulates no foreign company can compete for an Indian cargo with a ship older than 20 years.

Ferries not included

Passenger vessels are excluded from the measures, which look set to raise charter costs and put pressure on vessel values for tonnage that would normally move into India.

“Quality tonnage is paramount for the safe and secure expansion of the maritime sector,” the order is reported as saying.

India has already revealed plans to require large domestic charterers to contract at least one vessel running on green hydrogen each year from 2027 to 2030 as it seeks to decarbonise the sector.