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.

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. At the same time, talks continue around the US Iranian sanctions - deadline for the completion of a deal was 30th June.

28.4.2015, Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized Marshall Islands flagged Maersk Tigris having fired warning shots. They boarded the ship and escorted it to Bandar Abbas. The vessel was subsequently released, reportedly after the settlement of a commercial dispute. A few days before that, the US vessel Maersk Kensington was harrassed.

13.5.2015 Two sets of warning shots were fired at the Alpine Eternity, an oil-chemical tanker in international waters. The vessel was able to reach Jebel Ali. Twelve US warships are in the region including the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

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 in Aden have been forced to abandon their office which is now in insurgent hands - all staff escaped safely.

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. Without fuel to operate machinery, hospitals will run out of water. Some hospitals are now without power, morgues inoperative, and the summer heat is rising.

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 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.

Pirate activity is rising in the Singapore Strait and a number of oil cargo seizures have occurred in the South China Sea.


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
Manager, Marine

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