Oman, Hormuz Straits Designated as Extended Risk Zone

TankerIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Following the incidents in the Gulf of Oman, and specifically the Strait of Hormuz, over the past 12 weeks, the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) has designated the Straits 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.

This follows a period of discussions by the IBF’s Warlike Operations Areas Committee over the past weeks, who have been closely monitoring the situation and the risk to shipping.

Speaking at the conclusion of the talks, the Joint Negotiating Group’s (JNG) Chairman Capt. Koichi Akamine said that the discussions “were never going to be easy.”

“After the initial attacks in the Gulf of Oman in May and June, one may feel the need to act quickly to designate a risk area. However, it is important in such events to step back and assess the real threat to shipping and the most appropriate measures to take. The JNG is confident that it has now introduced a designation which properly addresses concerns by seafarers transiting the Straits.”

The Strait of Hormuz is a key shipping route, not just for the oil tankers in the forefront of current media focus, but also for container ships on transit to Jebel Ali and beyond.

“While this is a sensitive political issue and today has only affected tankers and potentially British-flagged vessels, it was our desire that the IBF show leadership and move quickly to reflect the concerns of the seafarers transiting this region,” David Heindel, the ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair, said.

The new Extended Risk Zone is defined by the following coordinates but excludes three nautical miles off the main coastlines of the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Iran:

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).

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