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. It usually meets quarterly; also see Committee Terms of Reference

Listed Areas

The current Listed Areas are detailed in JWLA021. These were reviewed by the JWC in June 2015 and no changes were made.

The recent NNGC ban on 113 tankers remains unexplained. Clearly all the named vessels are at risk of detention and Intertanko have demanded to know the basis for it and also how to get the ban lifted/removed.

There have been recent tensions in Hormuz as a by-product of the enmity between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as the Saudis believe Iran is trying to control strategic waterways. Whilst a deal has been done around the US Iranian sanctions, implementation in practice is months away (2016) so underwriters will need to maintain their current procedures and vigilance.

Situation in Yemen
Hostilities ongoing in many areas - accurate details not available. Iran and Saudi Arabia are effectively in a proxy conflict.

Foreign vessels are currently forbidden from entering Yemeni waters. Yemen does not have an effective navy of their own, so the Egyptian and Saudi navies have been mandated to enforce this. There are entry procedures for vessels to enter Hodeidah or Saleef port - a completed form must be sent to the Yemen Ministry of Transport, now based in Jeddah. The system works but needs much effort from concerned parties - there may be some vessels which the coalition will decline to authorise. 

JWC is keeping the region under close review. The JWC's advisers, Aegis DS, are very happy to take calls from members on specific issues. Lloyd's Agents office in Aden is in insurgent hands and thus closed.

Reports from Lloyd's Agent, Hodeidah
The blockade on commercial shipping continues - ports are handling some vessels although permission has to be obtained. Hodeidah is under Houthi control and has been for some months.

Oil supplies are being disrupted and without fuel to operate machinery, hospitals will run out of water.

Aden has suffered heavy fighting and that has meant there being no water or electricity in many areas. In addition there have been Saudi coalition airstrikes on military targets.

The area of the Indian Ocean where ships need to on their guard remains vast. The military assessment is that although no major vessel has been seized for some time, the pirate infrastructure remains in place, and their ability to take ships is undiminished. 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. The US Executive Order effectively requires insurers to contact OFAC should they be involved in a piracy case.

Pirate activity is rising in the Singapore Strait and a number of oil cargo seizures have occurred this year in the South China Sea. Oil cargo seizures are also a problem in the Gulf of Guinea.


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 produced this anti-piracy planning chart for owners and masters.

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
Manager, Marine

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