Challenges facing PMSCs

Regulations and market forces creating new pressures for marsec firms.

The regulatory and cost pressures facing private maritime security

By Gary Howard from London

The growth in use of the ISO/PAS 28007 standard is a sign of maturity for the maritime security sector providing a benchmark against which individual private maritime security companies (PMSCs) can be judged.

However, as the cowboys are relegated to history and the industry settles down, the realities of established commercial activity have also arrived.

One regulatory challenge faced by PMSCs is the treatment of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC). The convention is open to interpretation by individual states on whether PCASP are seafarers or not, and the decision has serious implications for PMSCs. In the UK, where many PMSCs and their contractors are based, the status of seafarer brings with it the flexibility offered by holding a British seaman’s card and discharge book.

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