Joint War Committee

The Joint War Committee comprises underwriting representatives from both the Lloyd’s and IUA company markets, representing the interests of those who write marine hull war business in the London market. Click here for the Committee Terms of Reference. It usually meets quarterly.

Situation in Crimea
The JWC has met to consider the developments in Crimea. No changes were made to the JWLA but the area remains under close review.

Listed Areas

The current Listed Areas are detailed in JWLA021, revised in June 2013.
Gulf of Guinea
There have been continuing attacks off of Benin and Nigeria since mid 2011 resulting in a number of cases where the ship has been hi-jacked and a significant part of the cargo of gasoil has been stolen - losses range from $2m to $6m.

Armed Guards
In the light of the ongoing threat, owners are often opting for the protection of security detachments. SAMI (Security Association for the Maritime Industry) made the intial progress with checking security company credentials and IMO produced some guidelines for owners and flag states on parameters for security companies. ISO/PAS28007 was released in late 2012 and is a compliance audit scheme for private armed security companies. The pilot scheme ran between June and November 2013.

However, many flag states have failed to clearly specify their position on armed guards, thus leaving legality an open question. UK insurance will in the first instance take account of Section 41 of the MIA, the implied warranty of legality under English law.

Somalian Piracy
The area where ships are potential targets remains vast. The JWC Listed Area is currently similar to but not the same as the UKMTO and BMP areas but in part serves a similar purpose, to alert ships to the potential dangers. Pirate activity continues, although for the time being, at a reduced level. The US Executive Order effectively requires insurers to contact OFAC should they be involved in a piracy case.

EUNAVFOR believes that voyage registration is falling and over 25% of vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden fail to register with MSCHOA or report to UKMTO and are therefore unable to benefit fully from the naval protection which is available. In one sample of incidents, out of 15,000 vessels which registered their transits, only 2 were taken.


Best Management Practice

The current version is BMP4. This version includes details of self-protection measures and a feedback request to masters on the effectiveness of the anti-piracy actions taken by the vessel. Maintaining vigilance, and reporting to UKMTO and MSCHOA are fundamental but only part of what prudent owners should do. It is clearly necessary for adequate training and regular practice to be given to crews to enable them to respond effectively when under attack or threat. Low speed and low freeboard remain factors which significantly increase the vulnerability of ships.

UKHO has produced this chart which neatly summarises the situation.

Somalia background 


The following circulars have been issued by the JWC, including the latest Listed Areas, released 12 June 2013.


The JWC issues wordings and clauses from time to time which are available for market use. Below are the wordings which allow underwriters to put the piracy peril into the war policy.
Contact us
Neil Roberts
Senior Executive, Underwriting

Useful websites

IUMI website