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North Launches Gray Page Armed Maritime Security Provider Vetting Programme

Wednesday, 28th September 2011

CIRCULAR REF 2011/031

TO ALL MEMBERS, BROKERS & DIRECTORS

ATTENTION INSURANCE DEPARTMENT

NORTH LAUNCHES GRAY PAGE ARMED MARITIME SECURITY PROVIDER VETTING PROGRAMME

We are pleased to announce that the Club has contracted with maritime intelligence, investigation and crisis management specialists, GRAY PAGE to vet the Armed Maritime Security Provider's (AMSP's) most frequently used by Members under the GRAY PAGE Armed Maritime Security Provider (AMSP) Vetting Programme.

Despite a wide range of measures implemented across the industry to combat piracy, including the relative success of coalition naval forces in the Gulf of Aden, pirates are responding with more diverse operational practices resulting in a significant increase in the number of incidents taking place in the wider Indian Ocean.  In 2011 alone, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has recorded 335 piracy attacks and 35 hijackings (data correct at 16 September 2011 www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre)

On 23 May 2011 the IMO's maritime safety committee published Interim guidance to shipowners, ship operators, and shipmasters on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) on board ships in the ‘High Risk Area[1]' (MSC.1/Circ.1405).  This has recently been revised (MSC.1/Circ.1405/Rev.1).  Although not endorsing the use of PCASP, nor addressing all the legal issues that might be associated with their use onboard ships, the guidance recommends due diligence when assessing prospective security providers, including a review of company structure, background and training.

 

North's aim is to help Members identify AMSPs whose governance and operations meet - at the time the vetting is carried out - the professional, legal and ethical standards required by a shipowner or operator[2] contemplating the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board a vessel entered with the Club.  The programme is designed to complement rather than replace Members' existing processes for the selection of suitable AMSP's.

Although the programme is designed to assist Members exercise due diligence when determining the suitability of prospective security contractors, North strongly endorses the adoption of Industry Best Management Practices (BMP). The use of armed maritime security providers should not be considered as an alternative to the self-protection measures contained in the latest version of BMP or additional measures recommended by a vessel's Flag State.

For more information, please see the attached FAQs or contact a member of our Piracy Contract Review Team at PiracyContractReviewTeam@nepia.com

 

Mike Salthouse

Director - North Insurance Management Limited

As Managers on behalf of the North of England P&I Association Limited


[1] Defined in the guidance as "Areas as defined in the Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea Area (BMP) unless otherwise defined by the flag State."

[2] To comply with the guidelines contained in MSC.1/Circ.1405/Rev.1