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INTERTANKO reviewed the Association’s work on the fight against Somali piracy

Sovereign armed guards are an option that should be made available to owners 800x600 Normal 0 false false false EL X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 INTERTANKO's Council (the Association's main governing body) reviewed last month the Association's ongoing committed work on the fight against Somali piracy.It was agreed by Council that government/sovereign armed guards are an option that should be made available to owners, and that the Association should provide a letter template for its Members to use to write to their flag state administrations, urging them to undertake the provision of sovereign armed guards, sometimes also known as Vessel Protection Detachments (VPDs), for use by their vessels as registered with those administrations.Council believes that tanker owners should be in a position to be able to look to their flag state administration for professionally trained government armed guards to provide the sovereign protection that is the right of their vessels and their crews which sail them.The template letter is in 'Word' format for ready use by Members as appropriate, and may be accessed hereSource : INTERTANKO

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Merchant ships could be armed to tackle pirate threat

Britain is poised to allow merchant ships formally to carry arms Britain is poised to allow merchant ships formally to carry arms for the first time since the Second World War in a dramatic effort to tackle the escalating threat of international piracy.The move is designed to protect British ships and curtail the growing unregulated market of private contractors offering armed protection.Details of the proposal, now being considered by a number of government departments, will be submitted to MPs on the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, which on Wednesday begins an inquiry into piracy off the coast of Somalia. MPs will also hear demands that pirates should be brought to the UK and other nations to face justice.Yesterday Mike Penning, the shipping minister, said: "Recognising the specific issue of increasing piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, the Department for Transport is considering amending the current policy to recognise that engaging armed personnel is an option for UK-flagged ship owners to combat piracy."MPs have ordered an investigation into efforts to tackle pirates amid growing concerns over the failure of naval forces to act as a deterrent and a lack of action in bringing the guilty to justice when they are caught. ...

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Nautilus International supports UK over its plans for armed guards on ships

It is essential to ensure that their legitimacy is enshrined in law Officers union Nautilus International has given support to the UK government over its plans to establish a legal framework for armed guards on ships.While accepting that armed protection is now widespread, with UK flagged vessels among the growing number that routinely employ private security personnel on ships that sail through waters where pirates operate, Nautilus nevertheless says it is essential to ensure their legitimacy is enshrined in law.Amending existing statutes to allow for firearms on merchant ships is absolutely essential, said Andrew Linington , the Anglo-Dutch unions campaigns and communications director.

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Indian navy cannot provide armed guards for merchant ships

Proposal for having armed naval guards on merchant vessels has been ruled out As the government continues to discuss measures to check pirate attacks on the high seas, a proposal for having armed naval guards on merchant vessels has been ruled out.The Navy has expressed its inability to the government to take up the task in view of the limited manpower for its various missions, informed sources told The Hindu. Besides being on an anti-piracy patrol mission in the Gulf of Aden, the Navy has also been carrying out a vigorous campaign against piracy closer to the Indian shores.Sources in the government said discussions are on to work out modalities as also the agency to be tasked with providing armed security aboard ships.As of now, there is no policy in the country of having armed private guards for protection on the high seas, a practice cleared by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as an interim measure.Last month, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee issued interim guidance that the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) should not be considered an alternative to the Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea area ...

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Indian government may allow armed guards on merchant ships

The ministry is veering towards placing armed guards on board. The government is likely to allow armed guards on merchant ships to counter pirates, but bigger measures may be needed as Somali pirates have come right into India's neighbourhood."Discussions are taking place in the (shipping) ministry and I believe it is going to be a week or 10 days when it will take a decision," said Sunil Thapar, director, bulk carrier and tanker division, Shipping Corp. of India Ltd (SCI). "The ministry is veering towards placing armed guards on board."The ministries of home affairs and defence will have to clear the move before it is implemented, Thapar added.Pirates of the Somali cost have escalated attacks on merchant ships and expanded their turf to cover the entire Indian Ocean from the Gulf of Aden. There were 219 attacks in 2010 in which 49 vessels were hijacked and 1,016 crew members taken hostage, data from the International Maritime Bureau show.Thapar said SCI, that ships into India crude oil and fertilizers from the Persian Gulf and phosphoric acid from Morocco, besides taking Korean steel through the Persian Gulf, was the victim of three shooting incidents last year."Pirates have captured ships. They are using ...

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Call for law to regulate private security companies gains steam

Private contractors will be performing critical security-related functions In September, 2007, a group of mostly European and American businessmen gathered for an informal drink at one of the five star hotels in Nairobi after attending an international humanitarian conference in the city.It was a unique gathering of businessmen as they represented the highest level of leadership in the legitimate business of war, peacekeeping and humanitarian logistics support in the world.In the informal meeting room was among others Doug Brooks, the President of the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA), a voluntary membership group for private security, peace support and humanitarian companies.There was also Chris Taylor, the then Vice- President for strategic initiatives at the former US government contractor in Iraq Blackwater (Xe Services LLC), formerly the Director of the Harvard Defense and Security Initiative at the John F Kennedy School of Government and now CEO at Mission Essential Personnel that provides intelligence and translation service to the US Department of Defense.Also at the informal bonding session were representatives from PAE Government Services- another US contractor, Military Professional Resources Initiative (MPRI)- a defence company, and Universal Guardian Holdings, a global risk mitigation firm that provides integrated security products, among others. Since then, ...

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India decided to allow armed guards on board vessels sailing on piracy waters

Crusial decision as piracy incidents increase The Indian Government has decided to allow deployment of armed guards preferably retired naval officers on board Indian cargo vessels sailing on the pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean, a top government official told Business Line.Detailed guidelines on the number of guards that each vessel can have will be issued shortly, he said. In the wake of rising incidents of piracy on the high seas, Indian shipping lines have been seeking government permission to deploy armed guards on board their ships.The plan is to give preference to retired naval officers, said the official who has just returned from the meeting of the Intentional Maritime Organisation (IMO) which discussed the guidelines on allowing armed guard on board the merchant ships. The Maritime Safety Committee of IMO has endorsed the use of armed guards.Draft guidelinesIn India, the proposal under consideration is to seek retired navy officers from the pool maintained by the Directorate of Resettlement under the Ministry of Defence. Each vessel can have a group of five armed personnel one officer and four others. The shipping companies have to bear the cost of hiring the guards.A draft guidelines prepared by the director general of shipping ...

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Regulation of maritime security concerns experienced progress this week

Estimate puts the number of armed guards on board vessels at around 10-12% Better regulation of the world's maritime security concerns took a couple of steps nearer this week.First, the IMO was known to be debating the issue at MSC 89 during the week, the results of which should be known early next week, while second, the fledgling Security Association for the Marine Industries (SAMI) said that it had signed up 19 members and will start to vet security firms operating in the marine sector shortly.Founded last year by ex Royal Marine Peter Cook and commercial shipping navigating officer Steven Jones, SAMI has the backing of the Marshall Islands (MI) flag state, among others.At a reception this week, Cook explained that members have to sign an International Code of Conduct for Private Security Contractors, which is a Swiss initiative supported by the MI."There is no regulation to look at the entrepreneurs, either good or bad," Cook said.He said that working groups will be set up to introduce vetting and KPIs with which to work. "We are waiting for the IMO guidelines," he said. He also explained that the Norwegians have guidelines in place and he was talking with the International ...

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Shipping firms may hire armed guards to improve security

Planning to allow shipping companies recruit armed guards The government is planning to allow shipping companies recruit armed guards to fight pirates, who have hijacked 12 Indian merchant ships in last four years.Ministries of shipping, external affairs and defence are working in tandem to come out with an enabling framework that will help to improve security apparatus on commercial vessels.The industry has been seeking government permission to strengthen their on-board security apparatus specially on ships that use the busy Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean route, where Somali pirates have recently hijacked ships with Indian crew. Although the pirate have not attacked any passenger ship, they have hijacked 12 Indian merchant ships since 2007 and taken 171 crew members hostage."The government is considering the proposal (to allow armed guard on board ships),' the official spokesperson of the Indian Navy said. The three ministries involved in the process have already held discuission with the industry to finalise the contours of the proposed norms."We are considering two options. One is to bring out a law and the second is to issue an executive order, which will be a faster way to safeguard our ships. However, the talks have not concluded as ...

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Armed guards save Dutch couple from Somali pirates

Guards retook a yacht from Somali pirates The head of a private security company says his guards retook a yacht from Somali pirates after the Dutch couple on board locked themselves in a safe room.Thomas Jakobsson of Naval Guards said Thursday that six of his guards were accompanying the Capricorn yacht on a separate motorboat. Six armed pirates were able to get aboard the Capricorn but the Dutch couple barricaded themselves in the boat.Jakobsson says his men had a brief exchange of fire with the pirates before retaking the Capricorn with no casualties on either side.The Indian Ocean attack follows the deaths of four Americans last month after their yacht was taken. Last week a Danish family and two crew aboard a yacht also were hijacked.Source: Associated Press

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