New boundaries for the HRA – further practical measures for implementation
BIMCO advised that the co-sponsors of BMP 4 have agreed to a revised definition of the High Risk Area.
The High Risk Area is now defined as being bounded by:
- In the Red Sea: Latitude 15oN
- In the Gulf of Oman: Latitude 22oN
- Eastern limit: Longitude 065oE
- Southern limit: Latitude 5oS
Amendment to section 2 of BMP 4, accompanying guidance on the revision’s impact and further practical measures for implementation in the context of company and shipboard planning as described in sections 6 and 7 of BMP 4.
The revisions are effective and will formally apply as of 1 December 2015, in order to give shipping companies and crews time to adapt to them.
It is strongly recommended that the revisions are taken into account as soon as possible for voyages through the VRA and HRA for which risk assessments are yet to be conducted, as the changes may have implications for charter party and insurance agreements as well as ship security.
It is not anticipated that there will be a need to publish a fully revised version of BMP 4 to incorporate these changes. BIMCO informs that a Notice to Mariners was sent on 8 October, 2015 advising of necessary changes to Admiralty Chart Q6099, and a new version of the chart will be made available before the entry into force of the revisions.
Whilst the revision re-designates the area considered to be at a high risk of Somalia-based pirate groups, it is stressed that these groups retain the ability to attack at historical limits of their activity. As such, the three pillars of BMP 4, namely registering at MSCHOA, reporting to UKMTO and implementing ship protection measures on the basis of a thorough risk assessment remain essential. Any lowering of guard in the region is likely to present an opportunity for a resurgence of pirate activities. Therefore, along with the commitment to its own security responsibilities, the shipping industry remains fully supportive of continued military deployments on a counter-piracy mandate for so long as the threat of pirate action groups exists.
BIMCO advises operators to disseminate the amendment and guidance as widely and as soon as possible.
Please click below to read Section 2 of BMP4 effective 1 December 2015
Source & Image Credit: BIMCO