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IMO Issues Guidance to Stakeholders on Use of Armed Guards June 28, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Laws and Leglslation, Piracy & Maritime Security, Risk & Risk Management.
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In the circular MSC.1/Circ.1405 dated May 23, 2011 the International Maritime Organization issued guidance to shipowners, operators, and masters on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel aboard ships.  As stated in the document, the purpose is to:

“…assist shipowners, ship operators and ship masters considering the use of PCASP on board ships to provide additional protection against piracy.”

The document includes a number of criteria for identifying, and vetting contracted armed security personnel.  I feel that one of the most important is that which states that owners, operators, and/or masters should verify:

“availability of documentary evidence that firearms are procured, transported, embarked and disembarked legally;”

There is evidence that a few companies have armed ships using weapons procured through less than ideal circumstances (for the owners, operators, and masters) and may expose the shipping stakeholders to risk.

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