The IMO recently set out guidelines for shipowners and operators to deal with the use of armed guards, but no reference, or guidance was given to the provision of armed guards while in waters under port state control, or while ‘landed’.Nice to see people worrying about some of the stumbling blocks to providing ships with security while in port or operating in the territorial waters of sovereign states that cannot or will not provide secure anchorages or transit routes.
Mee told the conference: “The recent hijacking in port waters in Oman and other similar attacks serves to remind us of the increasing threat posed to shipowners and operators when they are effectively under the jurisdiction of port state control. If clear guidelines for ports aren’t established either by the ports themselves, or the IMO, then the most vulnerable ports may see port calls fall.
“This threat highlights the need for greater involvement of the ports in developing clear guidelines on how security can be provided and provisioned when a vessel is in port waters,” he said.
“Ports, ideally under the auspices of the IMO, should move swiftly to issue guidelines illustrating how they handle armed security when they are entering or disembarking ports, as well as guidance for the storage of weaponry,” he warned.
Armed guards are not permitted to operate in territorial waters and it is down to the sovereign state to provide security while vessels wait in the anchorage area.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Tanker Operator: "Ports should issue armed guard guidelines":