Web Alert: Temporary Agreement for Strait of Hormuz issued by Warlike Operations Area Committee
06 August 2019
Further to the club’s web alerts on 17 June and 22 July and news article on 19 July (which can be viewed in the links on the right), the Warlike Operations Area Committee (WOAC) has temporarily designated the Strait of Hormuz as a high-risk area from 2 August. This follows the UK Government advice to UK-flagged ships to give it notice of any intention to pass through the Strait of Hormuz and to avoid the area unless accompanied by British naval support.
The WOAC, comprised of the trade unions Nautilus International and RMT, and the UK Chamber of Shipping, decided to apply the designation at an extraordinary meeting held on 29 July.
The temporary agreement applies to the operators of any UK and Red Ensign Group flagged ship due to transit the area and where those operators fail to take account of relevant guidance from industry bodies such as OCIMF, INTERTANKO, BIMCO and ICS, and fail to take the advice of the flag state. The agreement can be found in the attachment on the right.
Members should be aware that the WOAC agreement gives seafarers the right to refuse to work onboard ships transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Crew can choose not to join an unaccompanied ship about to proceed to the High-Risk Area, or request to leave the ship at a preceding port.
Seafarers who choose to continue working on ships transiting the area must receive double basic pay from 2 August, in recognition of the higher risks associated with transiting and operating in the zone. Double basic pay would apply to each day the ship is in the specified zone. The payments are in addition to all other remuneration earned.
The agreement will cover the sea area as per the UK Government definition of the territorial limits of the Strait of Hormuz:
On the West: A line joining Ra's-e Dastakan (26°33'N – 55°17'E) in Iran, southward to Jaztal Hamra lighthouse (25°44'N – 55°48'E), in the United Arab Emirates (the common limit with the Persian Gulf).
On the East: A line joining Ra's Līmah (25°57'N – 56°28'E), in Oman, eastward to Ra's al Kūh (25°48'N – 57°18'E), in Iran (the common limit with the Arabian Sea).
The designation will be reviewed on September 2 or earlier if advice from the UK Government changes. The Government advice of 22 July 2019 can be found here.
The Standard Club is always on hand to assist. If members have any questions in relation to this publication or the previous publications mentioned above, they should not hesitate to contact the authors or their usual club contact.