PANAMA ACCREDITED AND A COST EFFECTIVE SECURITY SOLUTION PROVIDER
Secure a Ship Ltd has achieved accreditation for a maritime security company to work with Panama Flagged Vessels.
UK-based Secure a Ship Ltd became the first maritime security company to actively seek out and gain official accreditation in September 2012 from the Panama Maritime Authority sanctioning the services of armed and unarmed escort guards on vessels transiting piracy high risk areas.
Secure a Ship were swift to act, following the recent change of law in Panama under which from 3rd October 2012 all Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSCs) serving Panamanian ships must have official accreditation from the Panama Maritime Authority. Due to a lack of PMSC’s who got the accreditation Panama extended this to the 3rd January 2013.
Paul Maguire (Director) says “getting this accreditation early shows our strength and quality within the company, we welcome other PMSC’s into this exclusive fold. This also adds to our growing list of credentials of being ISO:9001 accredited, a certified Stage 1 member of SAMI and a member of SCEG”.
The stringent review process of the Administration was effected by two of its departments and vetted by a special board of experts from the Panama Maritime Authority.
With the new law, it is going to be easier for everyone, as all the paperwork will be with the authorities, and therefore granting approval for a team to come aboard can be achieved swiftly,. This is a positive step by Panama in its aim of ensuring flexibility and good service to ship owners and operators and ensuring that reputable companies with sound infrastructure are employed on board Panamanian registered ships.
In MSC.1/Circ.1405/Rev.1 of 16 September 2011 the International maritime Organization raised concerns over the absence of applicable regulation and industry self-regulation, coupled with complex legal requirements governing the legitimate transport, carriage and use of firearms on ships. Further, it was said that the rapid growth in the number of private maritime security companies raised doubts about the capabilities and maturity of some of these firms.
With Panama’s new measure, any Panamanian accredited PMSC will have a flag state reference, proving to new clients and the industry that its operations and structure have been analysed by a competent administration. This promises to be an advance in aiding shipping companies to identify reliable, professional private providers of armed security.
Please see below the circular.
PANAMA MARITIME AUTHORITY MERCHANT MARINE CIRCULAR MMC243
To: Ship-owners/Operators, Company Security Officers, Private Security Companies, Legal Representatives of Panamanian Flagged Vessels, Panamanian Merchant Marine Consulates and Recognized Organizations (ROs).
Subject: Authorization for Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC)
Reference: MMC.228 MSC.1/Circ.1405/Rev.2 MSC.1/Circ.1406/Rev.1 MSC.1/Circ.1333 MSC.1/Circ.1334 MSC.1./Circ. 1443
1. The purpose of this Merchant Marine Circular is to officially communicate that on April 4th, 2012 was published in the Official Gazette, the Resolution No.106-13-DGMM, dated March 8th, 2012, whereby the
Panama Maritime Authority establishes requirements for the Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) to meet, in order to become authorized by this Administration. This Resolution will enter into force on October 3rd, 2012. This has now changed to 3rd January 2013.
2. This Administration encourages all Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) to comply with the requirements listed on Resolution No.106-13- DGMM to be able to offer their services of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel onboard Panamanian flagged vessels. For the English version of Res.No.106-13-DGMM, please click here. â€“ For the Spanish version of Res.No.106-13-DGMM, please click here.
3. The Applications from the Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) must be submitted to the Directorate General of Merchant Marine through a Legal Representative in Panama.
4. The Panama Maritime Authority shall not issue authorizations for vessels contracting services from companies which are not duly authorized by this Administration after October 3rd. In the meantime all authorizations to carry armed personnel will be issued following the guidelines listed in our MMC 228.
PANAMA MARITIME AUTHORITY MERCHANT MARINE CIRCULAR MMC245
1. This Circular has the purpose to inform users, according to Merchant Marine Circular MMC-243, about the list of Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) authorized by this Administration to offer their services as Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel onboard Panamanian flagged vessels transiting High Risk Areas.
2. The Panama Maritime Authority has recognized the following company as PMSC:
SECURE A SHIP LIMITED.
3. Each Private Maritime Security Company authorized should notify by formal letter or mail and also submit the required documents to the Maritime Ships Security Department of any inclusion or changes in armed personnel or inventory of weapons, according to requirements established in Resolution 106-13- DGMM ; Article Fourth, Number Fifth.
4. This Administration encourages all Private Maritime Security Companies to meet the requirements established in Resolution No. 106-13-DGMM by October 3rd, 2012 as the latest, in order to get approval for offering their services of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel for Panamanian flagged vessels.
5. All Panamanian flagged vessels contracting Authorized Private Maritime Security Companies only need to submit Bilateral Agreement duly signed by PMSC and vessels representative and passport copies of Authorized Armed Security Personnel in order grant authorization from Flag State each time they need Armed Security on board.
MARITIME SECURITY PROVIDER AND PANAMA ACCREDITED
CSO’s PLEASE GET IN TOUCH FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION REGARDING THE PANAMA ACCREDITATION PROCESS.
BEST PRICE FOR A GREAT SERVICE
A merchant vessel was attacked in position 12-52.5N 047-52.4E in the IRTC at 0420Z 9/12/13
Four alleged sea pirates suspected to be behind various breach of maritime security in the nation’s waterways have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy.
In a statement issued by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Pathfinder, Base Information Officer, Lt.-Cdr. Abdulsalam Sani, on Sunday in Port Harcourt, it was stated that the suspects were arrested by troops of the Nigerian Navy Ship, Burutu, while on routine patrol.
The suspects had since been handed over to the Bonny Island Divisional Police Officer, SP Sunday Okuguni for further investigation and prosecution.
The statement quoted the Commanding Officer of the Forward Operating Base Bonny, Navy Capt. Matthew Daupreye as saying that it impounded three cutlasses, four knives, and pumping machines from the suspects.
It added that three hammers, cell phones, eye glasses and an undisclosed amount of money were also recovered from the suspects.
“In continuation of the Nigerian Navy’s efforts to put an end to criminal activities at the nation’s maritime domain; four suspected sea robbers were arrested on Dec. 2.
“The suspects were arrested while operating in two wooden boats at about 1, 200 at anchorage off Bonny Fairway buoy in Rivers.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects are responsible for various breach of maritime security which disrupts the nation’s economic growth.
“The Navy will continue to maintain 24-hour presence at sea and waterways in line with the mission and vision of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adml. Dele Ezeoba to eliminate sea piracy and illegal bunkering,” the statement read in part.
We are pleased to announce that Secure A Ship has increased its global footprint and opened new offices in Singapore.
Due to the demand of work and the need to meet clients face to face we decided to expand our operations into Singapore where our Business Development Manager resides.
Singapore adds to the offices we have in the UK and Germany.
Please come and visit us at:
Ocean Financial Center
Level 40, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore.
The number of pirate attacks in the West African waters may double next year if the sub-regional governments fail to protect off-shore assets.
Already, there have been over 360 attacks on merchant shipping this year and without action by West African governments this could rise to over 700 incidents in 2014.
T read more press here
Despite sailing more than five times the recommended distance from the coast as a precaution against hijacking, the fast moving dots were speedboats carrying heavily armed pirates.
The assailants boarded the Faina and searched below the ship’s decks, quickly realizing they had chanced upon valuable cargo.
Read more here
Ankur Varma, third officer on the oil tanker M/V Cotton, opened his cabin door at five minutes to midnight on July 14 to find two men pointing AK-47s at him.
“They just pushed me into the cabin with the guns in my chest and they told me to stay silent,” Varma said in a phone interview from India. “They were threatening; they were showing the guns, pointing at us. They took everything – everything that we had – including clothes, toiletries, electronics.”
They also took the ship’s cargo. The Maltese-flagged vessel was carrying about 10,000 tonnes of fuel oil belonging to France’s largest oil company when it was attacked by 15 pirates off the coast of Gabon in West Africa.
The hijackers kept control of the tanker for seven days as they siphoned off the fuel.
While Total SA eventually got its fuel oil back with the help of Ghana’s navy, Varma’s story is becoming increasingly typical as Africa’s west coast replaces Somalia as the world’s most piracy-prone area. The attacks, which are getting more frequent and more violent, threaten shipping in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest oil-producing region.
West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea had 40 piracy attacks in the first nine months of the year, compared with 10 incidents in waters around Somalia, the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre says.
As well as stealing from ships, kidnappings are on the rise. Last month, two U.S. citizens were seized from a supply ship before being released after more than two weeks.
“Initially they were interested in holding the ships, stealing the cargo, taking this ship-crew’s possessions and money and leaving,” said Roy Paul, a director at the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program.
“This year, we’ve seen an increase in taking hostages” for ransom.
Nigeria, Gabon, Ghana and other countries around the Gulf of Guinea produce more than three million barrels of oil a day, or about a third of Africa’s output, BP data show. The region’s crude – often so-called sweet grades that are refined into high-value motor fuels – is shipped to refiners in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea are also leading liquefied natural gas exporters.
This year, piracy has spread through the region from Nigeria, where theft from ships has long been common, and ships are being attacked farther offshore, the International Maritime Bureau says. Boardings or hijacks have been reported off Togo, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Piracy’s rise in West Africa has been mirrored by its decline off Somalia, where kidnappings spurred a response from shipowners and western governments.
The deployment of warships and the use of armed guards have resulted in the number of incidents plunging this year.
The use of private security may be less effective in the Gulf of Guinea because the pirates are more violent, said Jan Fritz Hansen, who chairs the piracy task force at the European Community Shipowners’ Associations.
“They are becoming more and more organized,” Hansen said. “You can’t really rely on private armed guards. It should be a more strong force from governments.
“The criminals down there are a bit better equipped and armed.”
International oil companies exporting from the region are taking steps to protect ships from attack.
“We take additional precautions on all our LNG tankers for security,” Andrew Gould, chairman of U.K.-based producer BG Group, which exports all of Equatorial Guinea’s natural gas, said.
“We have a procedure in place. We have warned people.”
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/ship+hijackings+getting+more+violent+piracy+switches+coasts/9204695/story.html#ixzz2lZmAOq8R
Just a few weeks after the Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, issued another warning about the on-going piracy threat, there have been two more piracy related incidents off the Somali coast.
The first incident happened on Tuesday 5 November, when EU Naval Force German frigate, FGS Niedersachsen prevented 10 suspect pirates from getting far out to sea. The second incident happened yesterday, Wednesday 6 November, at sea 460 miles south east of Mogadishu, when a merchant ship had to repel an attack from 5 armed suspect pirates.
It was during one of her counter piracy patrols yesterday that FGS Niedersachsen first located 2 small vessels – a whaler towing a skiff, close to the Somali coast. The warship’s crew was able to observe that as well as 10 men, the whaler was also carrying over 10 fuel barrels and 2 long ladders – equipment that has been traditionally used by pirates to launch attacks on ships at sea.
When the German frigate approached to carry out further investigations, the men in the whaler were observed dropping the ladders into the sea, before heading back towards the shoreline.
Select here to view the full story.
Info on piracy threats to, and criminal action against, merchant vessel in the last 30 days
The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) has issued Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report to provide information on piracy threats to and criminal action against merchant vessels worldwide in the last 30 days.
press here for more information
Abuja — A surge in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea this year has prompted West African leaders to establish a new working group intended to combine maritime law enforcement efforts. Analysts in Nigeria say security forces already have the capacity to slow the attacks, but lack the political will.
In the rivers and creeks of Nigeria’s Niger Delta, speedboat drivers say piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has frightened some of their customers away, but they continue to carry oil workers to the high seas.
The International Maritime Bureau says West African waters are now among the most dangerous in the world – far more dangerous than the waters off Somalia, where pirates have become less active. A report this month said more than half of the pirate killings and all of the kidnappings worldwide this year have happened in the Gulf of Guinea. Most of the attacks were off the shores of Nigeria.
Edward Oforomeh, a lawyer and former police superintendent, says pirate attacks off Nigeria also hurt Nigerians on shore.
“The increase in piracy is a threat to our economy, a very big threat to our economy,” Oforomeh said. “So I want to say that those responsible for checking the hoodlums that are bent on this piracy, they should wake up. They should wake up to their duties.”
Heavily armed pirates ransack ships and steal the cargo – usually oil products – while sometimes killing or abducting crew members.
Last week, an American ship captain and chief engineer of an oil supply vessel were kidnapped off the Nigerian coast. U.S. officials accuse pirates of the abduction and Nigerian Navy says it has a search-and-rescue team on the water.
But some analysts say pirates are often better armed than the Nigerian Navy. Nigerian security forces have the manpower and the training, but not the resources they need to fight pirates, said Oforomeh.
“That is why we appear not to be able to cope. But if we were able to equip them as overseas… countries equip their people, we will be able to contain them.”
The International Maritime Bureau says all Nigerian waters “remain risky,” but West African leaders say the danger is to the entire region. At a meeting in Dakar last weekend, leaders from the West African economic bloc, ECOWAS, announced they will establish a maritime safety coordination center in Cameroon to combat “piracy, terrorism, extremism and banditry at sea.”
But here in Nigeria, some analysts say beefed up security alone will not make the waters safer. Abubakar Kari, a political science lecturer at the University of Abuja, says criminals – even when they are caught – are often not punished in Nigeria. Corruption, he adds, makes it harder to catch them.
“By corruption I mean those whose duty it is to stop the piracy – I’m talking of the security agents – sometimes are actually participants in it,” Kari said. “They collect money and gratification from the pirates and allow them to perpetrate their acts.”
The International Maritime Bureau says the Nigeria is currently developing a new legal framework to combat piracy.
In mid-October, Nigeria hosted Spain, Britain, the United States, and the Netherlands in a joint training operation because maritime security, they said, is a “common global heritage to mankind.”