Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General, commented
Freedom of Navigation is vital for global trade and is a fundamental principle of international maritime law. Seafarers and ships must be allowed to operate in safety, and it is simply not acceptable for them to be used as bargaining counters in any way.
ECSA Secretary General Martin Dorsman, stated
Merchant vessels engaged in international trade should not be subject to unlawful seizures or armed attacks. The Strait of Hormuz is an important route for European merchant vessels and we strongly urge EU member states to work with Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in order to safeguard this vital passageway.
In addition, Ang Chin Eng, ASA Secretary General added
The Strait of Hormuz is the only route in and out of the Gulf, and one of the critical shipping lanes for Asian countries that also connects Europe and Asia. We therefore urge all countries to completely secure the safe passage by respecting the freedom of navigation and the right of innocent passage as enshrined in the UNCLOS, and to push for a complete de-escalation of tensions in the region.
Overall, although the situation remains stable in the Iranian waters, the shipping industry is alerted;For instance, Shell recently announced that they will not send UK-flagged vessels. In addition, a few days ago BP also informed that it had not taken any of its own tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, after the July 10 attempt by Iran to seize one of its vessels.
The tension in Strait of Hormuz peaked after the UK arrested the Indian Captain and Chief Officer of the Iranian tanker 'Grace 1', a few days after the ship was seized suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria. Following this event, Iran seized Stena Impero, leading a part of the shipping sector addressing that this was an act of retaliation and an act against international shipping laws.
In order to boost safety in the area, the UK navy is escorting British-flagged vessels sailing through the Strait of Hormuz.