Following the unfriendly exchange of missiles at Iraq, some P&I clubs have already responded while others still keep silence seemingly returning from the vacations so far.
As early as on 07 January The North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association has issued the notice reading as follows:
Members should ensure that all vessels have conducted a thorough voyage risk assessment and plan their transits in accordance with BMP5 as advised by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations notice UKMTO-10#99.
As of yesterday, American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association and The Standard Club Ltd reacted as well, both referring to Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the USA having issued MSCI (Maritime Security Communications with Industry) Alert by January 08, 2020:
Multiple maritime threats have been reported in the vicinity of the geographic areas described above. On January 2, 2020, the U.S. military took decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad. The Iranian response to this action, if any, is unknown, but there remains the possibility of Iranian action against U.S. maritime interests in the region. …
U.S. Fifth Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) has the latest information on the dynamic maritime security threats and operational environment in this region. U.S. commercial vessels are advised to exercise caution and coordinate vessel voyage planning for transits of the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea with NCAGS and follow NCAGS’s recommendations and guidance whenever possible.
Today’s alert by Japan P&I Club – 10 January 2020 No.1050:
Tensions between the U.S.A. and Iran are rising, and the latest information of the area that we have got from our local correspondents* are as follows;
As of 12:00 (JST) of 9 January 2020, the ports in Iran, UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are operated normally and no sea blockade has been carried out by surrounding countries. In addition, the Authorities have not issued any circular or notification regarding the safety or navigational issues for vessels so far.
However, tensions in the Middle Eastern area increase drastically. Vessels calling or planning to call the area are advised to exercise extreme caution.
Please note that the change of local situation is so unforeseeable, that the above is to be updated accordingly.
Let’s remind that back in early August 2019 the Gulf of Oman, and specifically the Strait of Hormuz the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) was designated as a Temporary Extended Risk Zone. This means that seafarers who are subject to an attack in the zone, are entitled to a bonus and doubled death and disability compensation.
We are awaiting for further worldwide response, but it looks like the area is going to be ‘sanctioned’ without official sanctions.