On December 29, 2017, the President of Russia signed an Act broadening the concept of 'cabotage'
in the Merchant Shipping Code to strengthen country's position in the Arctic and to put Russian shipping in a more advantageous position as compared to foreign companies. The Act assigns an exclusive right to transport sources of energy through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to the Russian fleet, and expands the list of activities for which vessels under the Russian flag have an advantage offshore in the Russian Federation.
These include pilotage, storage of oil and oil products, natural gas (including LNG), gas condensate and coal, if such storage is carried out on a vessel offshore in the NSR. Now, a significant share of the world tanker fleet goes under 'convenient' flags of Liberia, Cyprus, Marshall Islands, etc.