Shipping firms which place private armed security guards on ships passing areas where pirates operate risk criminal prosecution, Dutch justice minister Ivo Opstelten said last week. Jumbo Shipping from Rotterdam and Vroon Shipping based in Breskens have both said they will carry armed guards while sailing under the Dutch flag.
Flag States which do not allow their vessels to take the protective deemed necessary by owners as going to lose tonnage. That is the stark warning as an exodus looks likely from those who do not allow owners to use armed guards. The news that Dutch shipowner Seatrade Groningen is to set to flag out from the Netherlands flag is a clear indication of this.