Union welcomes IBF backing for Hormuz high-risk zone

13 August 2019

Nautilus International has welcomed a decision by the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) to designate the Strait of Hormuz as a Temporary Extended Risk Zone, after 12 weeks of increased aggression towards merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman.

The IBF's decision, announced on Tuesday 13 August, means that seafarers who are subject to an attack in the zone, are entitled to a bonus and doubled death and disability compensation.

It follows 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.

Nautilus was present at the discussions, with maritime employers represented by the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG), and unions represented by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF).

JNG Chairman Capt. Koichi Akamine said: 'These 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 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)