BIMCO has announced a reduction in the Piracy High Risk Area for transiting the Indian Ocean effective from 1st December 2015, per the below map.


BMP4 (the latest advisory on anti-piracy measures) will now only be applicable when a vessel enters the reduced area, which is defined by the following boundaries:

In the Red Sea: Latitude 15oN
In the Gulf of Oman: Latitude 22oN
Eastern limit: Longitude 065oE
Southern limit: Latitude 5oS

The effect of this is that BMP4 measures will only apply in the new area after 1 December 2015  – this will affect charter parties as well as War and K&R policies that require BMP4 to be adhered to.  As the new area is reduced, this will lead to a reduction in costs for operators as trade to/from the Gulf to Asia will no longer require transiting through the HRA – welcome news undoubtedly.

That said, careful review of the wording of any contracts involving an obligation to adhere to BMP4 will be required  Even though the HRA has been reduced (only from 1 December 2015), the contract wording may be inconsistent, leaving Assureds in breach if they are trading outside of the new HRA but are not compliant with BMP4.  Assureds should seek confirmation from their underwriters that BMP4 must only be adhered to within the new HRA from 1 December 2015 to be sure.

At the same time, we understand the Joint War Committee in London is meeting in December to discuss the reduced HRA and their response to it.  Until the JWC issues updated War Risk Areas (currently the Indian Ocean War Risk Area mirrors the existing HRA), all trade within the Indian Ocean War Risk Area will continue to be a ‘breach’ and therefore could attract an additional premium.  We will post an update as soon as the JWC make their decision.

If you would like us to review or advise on your War, K&R or charter party wording in light of the above changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.