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IMO sets conditions for employment of private guards on board ships

(BRUSSELS2) Faced with the proliferation of private agencies of all kinds and the difficulties posed to shipowners and shipping companies, the International Maritime Organization adopted, on May 20, guidelines on the employment of private guards on board ships. merchant ships.

The use of armed personnel from private companies on board ships must not “ not be considered as an alternative (allowing one to) deprive oneself of applying BMPs » – Best Management Practices – explains the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO also takes care to clarify that these recommendations are not intended to institutionalize or approve the use of private personnel and do not resolve legal questions – therefore do not provide a basis for settling various questions. like responsibility...

Under condition

Place armed guards on board “should only be considered after a risk assessment ". And it is important to involve the captain in the decision-making process. This IMO guide thus gives recommendations on how to select the private guard company, insurance coverage, command and control, management and use of weapons and ammunition on board, and rules for the use of force which must be agreed between the owner, the maritime security company and the captain.

States to play

Flag States should put in place a policy, authorizing or not the use of these private guards on board ships flying their flag, and setting the conditions », underlines the IMO. A working group will work to produce recommendations to governments in this direction from September 12, 2011.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).