Ships advised to provide Hormuz transit plans to assist naval security deployment

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London —
Shipping industry associations have this week issued advisories asking vessels to provide transit plans for the Strait of Hormuz to maritime agencies in advance of their voyage to help naval ships deployed in the region provide the necessary security cover.

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The updated advisory to shipping companies signals the increased presence of naval vessels in the Persian Gulf that shipbrokers expect could lead to slower vessel traffic, longer queues and higher voyage costs.

The voyage data will be needed to assist naval units participating in “Operation Sentinel” to deploy their resources effectively, the London P&I Club said a notice to its members late Monday.

Operation Sentinel is a multinational maritime effort to increase security of shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman, with partners in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, US Central Command said last week.

In an advisory dated Monday and seen by S&P Global Platts, a series of shipping organizations said that ship captains should provide their transit plans for the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf 24-48 hours in advance to UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

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UK seeks ‘European-led’ maritime protection mission in Strait of Hormuz

The plans should include the time of the vessel entering and exiting the Strait of Hormuz, an outline of the navigation plan while operating in the region, any constraints or speed restrictions and the nationality of the vessel’s crew, it said.

The organizations included BIMCO, International Chamber of Shipping, Intertanko and Oil Companies International Marine Forum or OCIMF. UKMTO coordinates maritime security between the Royal Navy and merchant vessels.

The advisory said the vessel captains should register with UKMTO when entering the Indian Ocean and comply with flag state guidance, to ensure the safety of all vessels and allow navies to afford best protection to global trade.

“In the event of any incident or being concerned, [ship] masters should call UKMTO immediately” and UKMTO will share the information with the navies joining Operation Sentinel, the advisory said. “Navies are operating in the Strait of Hormuz and to offer best protection they need to be aware of all vessel movements and intentions.”

Protection & Indemnity Clubs said their members should also monitor advisories from flag states as some were already recommending against transiting the Strait of Hormuz.

On July 19, Iran seized a UK chemical tanker and briefly detained a UK-owned VLCC in the Strait of Hormuz, ratcheting up regional tensions and risks to oil shipments, with the UK government asking ships with UK interests to “stay out of the area for an interim period.”

— Eric Yep, eric.yep@spglobal.com

— Edited by James Leech, james.leech@spglobal.com