Sub-clause 1 gives the assured a right to total loss compensation when the ship is prevented from leaving port, etc., as a result of a war risk, and the hindrance lasts for over 12 months. The provision is aimed primarily at cases where the hindrance is of a physical nature, for example, when the ship remains trapped because the lock gates have been destroyed by bombing, or because a bridge has been blown up by sabotage and blocks the way out of port. The lines are fluid, however, between hindrances of this type and hindrances consisting of a foreign State power detaining the ship in port due to fear that it will fall into enemy hands. The detention may be reinforced by the area around the ship being mined or by other measures aimed at preventing the ship from leaving the area. Regardless of whether the authority in question implements separate physical measures, a detention of this nature will be deemed to be blocking and trapping within the meaning of the provision, and will also fall within the scope of Cl. 15-11.
The hindrance will be manifested by the ship being unable to leave port "or a similar limited area". The comparison shows that the area must not be too large geographically and, accordingly, must be comparable to a port. A typical example would be that the ship remains trapped in a canal, etc., because the lock gates or other structures have been destroyed. The events in Shatt-al-arab during the Iran-Iraq war and in the Suez Canal during the war between Israel and Egypt are examples of this type of situation. The provision will not apply, however, if a general cargo ship is prevented from leaving the Great Lakes because the lock gates have been bombed in the St. Lawrence Seaway. By contrast, in relation to the Strait of Hormuz, the provision must be given a wide interpretation. Accordingly, if an oil tanker is unable to get out of the Strait of Hormuz during a conflict, e.g. because the Strait has been mined, the provision will apply.
Sub-clause 2 stipulates that Cl. 15-11, sub-clauses 3, 4 and 5 shall apply correspondingly.