The German Government is seeking the support of other European Union countries to allow the use of private armed guards on their merchant ships in areas at risk from pirates. The proposal was due to be discussed at an International Maritime Organization meeting last month.
The policy and rules of Flag States on the carriage of arms and private armed guards on board ships for protection against pirates is contained in a special document produced by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in association with the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA). The ICS said the document, which has been added to its website, is proving to be a popular reference tool for shipowners and other interested parties within the shipping community.
Kiran Khosla, ICS director of legal affairs and secretary of the ICS maritime law and insurance committees, said: “The consensus among ICS national shipowner associations remains that private armed guards are a clear second best to military personnel.
“However, in view of the current crisis, the ICS has had to acknowledge that the decision to engage armed guards, whether military or private, is a decision to be made by the ship operator after due consideration of all the risks and subject to the approval of the ship’s Flag State and insurer.”
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - October 2011 Issue
Click here to subscribe