Effective from 2 August, the Warlike Operations Area Committee (WOAC) has agreed to temporarily designate the Strait of Hormuz as a High-Risk Area, as part of an increased danger associated with the latest developments in the region. The agreement gives seafarers the right to refuse to work onboard vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz.
High Risk Area
Companies, company security officers (CSO), ship security officers (SSO) and Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) of Panamanian flagged vessels should implement the necessary security measures described in the latest edition of the Best Management Practices before, during and after the transit through High Risk Areas.
The ECSA delegation met with the EU NAVFOR’s team to discuss the current state of piracy off the coast of Somalia, also visiting the naval assets participating in Operation Atalanta. EU NAVFOR is committed to deter, prevent, and suppress piracy and also highlight that the Maritime Industry must continue to adhere to BMP measures in order to maximize the safety of the ships and crews whilst transiting the high-risk area.
TankerTrackers informed that there might be oil spill after the sabotage attack on the Saudi VLCC supertanker, Amjad. The alleged sabotage attack took place off United Arab Emirates territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman. The ship, Amjad, may was empty of crude oil, but it was carrying fuel oil onboard. The oil spill is no less than 235 barrels.
In light of London’s marine insurance market meeting on Thursday, May 16, they decided to extend the list of waters deemed as high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, Reuters reports.
Steamship Club issued an alert to remind its members that are trading in the southern Red Sea and Arabian Sea that the geographical limits of the High Risk Area have been changed from 1 May 2019. BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and the OCIMF highlight that the ongoing containment of pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean means that a reduction in the area’s geographic boundaries is appropriate.
Regional conflict and piracy threats continue to pose potential risks to commercial vessels operating in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean, warned the US MARAD. US flagged commercial vessels are advised to avoid entering or loitering near Yemen’s Red Sea ports.
On 23 January 2018, the Dutch House of Representatives deals with the Merchant Navy Protection Act. The proposal allows the hiring of private security, in case a Vessel Protection Detachment of the armed forces is not possible, and concerns only the waters near Somalia, which is considered as a High Risk Area.
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) is to pay for legal support for the court appeal of the ship’s crew members of the Seaman Guard Ohio.
UKHO has published its 5th version of the Q6099 chart which includes the reduction in the size of the ‘High Risk’ area as agreed by the countries involved in the setting of limits.
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