Norway has issued clarification on a number of issues relating to the deployment of armed guards.
The Norwegian regulations set out the type of weaponry that can deployed, how to get an exemption from local firearm laws, and define how cases will be investigated by Norwegian authorities.
The provisional guidelines issued offer extremely practical advice on the lines of command and legal responsibility.
Ship owners will be required to get a general framework permission from a Norwegian police authority and the country’s maritime directorate, then document the actual use of a properly trained and vetted armed services with the authorities.
It seems however that the Norwegians intend to use a “black list” approach, with the government developing a list of companies that the country’s flagged owners may not use.
There will also be restrictions on the types of arms that can be brought onto a Norwegian vessel – these will be limited to ‘suitable firearms’ as opposed to any heavy weaponry.
Speaking to Lloyd’s List, Norwegian Shipowners’ Association director Haakan Svane said, “it was important for Norwegian owners to get this clarification sorted out as they have been in the dark as to whether any armed guards being used are legal or not”.