The Joint War Committee (JWC) has added Guyana to its list of areas of perceived enhanced risk amid an escalating territorial dispute with Venezuela.

Specifically, JWC added Guyana to its list of “Hull War, Piracy, Terrorism and Related Perils.”

In an update to its Listed Areas the JWC said on Monday December 18th that it was adding Guyana, but only for calls to offshore installations in the Guyanese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) beyond territorial waters.

On the same day JWC published the updated list, the British Minister for the Americas, Caribbean and Overseas Territories, David Rutley, expressed his support for Guyana in its dispute with Venezuela and his “unequivocal backing” for Guyana’s territorial integrity.

“The border issue has been settled for over 120 years. Sovereign borders must be respected wherever they are in the world.”

As it is reported by the UK government, the Venezuelan regime on 3 December held a referendum asking voters to approve the incorporation of the Essequibo region of Guyana into Venezuela against the will of the people who live there.

The Essequibo region makes up two-thirds of Guyana’s territory. The border lines were settled by international arbitration in 1899, UK said in its release earlier this month.

The Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali in his statement in relation to the claim by Venezuela to Guyana’s Essequibo Region, he said: “I address you on an unsettling development in relation to the unlawful claim by Venezuela to Guyana’s Essequibo Region, which constitutes more than two-thirds of Guyana’s national territory.

“President Maduro announced several measures which his government intends to take in enforcing the outcome of the referendum held on December 3, 2023.

“As I made clear from the date the referendum was first announced, this is a direct threat to Guyana’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence, and in violation of fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the UN and OAS Charters.”

It is worth mentioning that the Joint War Committee comprises underwriting representatives from both the Lloyd’s and IUA company markets, representing the interests of those who write marine hull war business in the London market.

From time to time, the JWC updates and disseminates the Listed Areas – these are areas where owners are required to notify underwriters of voyages. Rating is a matter for individual negotiation between underwriters and brokers and the JWC plays no role in that. The Committee last reviewed the areas in September 2023.