In addition to the new agreement on the boundaries and extent of high risk piracy areas the IBF and ITF imposed some additional requirements.
The agreement states that during a vessel’s transit of the extended risk zone “protection of seafarers through the provision of increased security measures should be adopted. Such measures must be above the latest Best Management Practice level and may include the provision of personnel or systems which appropriately reduce the vulnerability of a vessel. The sufficiency of such extra security measures should be determined depending on vessel type, size, freeboard during transit and speed, with consulting and seeking advice of respective ITF union(s) where necessary”.
This means that all vessels under IBF agreements are required to adopt best management practice as a minimum standard of protection.
Finally we are seeing a ruling with some teeth which will push all owners/operators to comply with BMPs – and to do more to protect their crews, vessels and cargoes.
It is the verdict of some experts that the ISPS Code Ship Security Plans of many vessels need to be re-assessed to ensure that their are effective provisions to provide “hard security”. Not just the softer elements, such as checking ID and credentials as part of the administrative security processses.
This should hopefully drive a new era in which all ships transitting areas of pirate risk do more to harden themselves as targets.