Why CSO Alliance
Connecting CSOs
Communicating & Challenging
Confirming Crime
Collaborating Globally
News & Workshops
Contact us
Join now

Profiled Supplier

  • Chenega International Consulting LLC
    Chenega International's specialization includes the provision of consultancy relating to the utilization of niche technology, security, analytical...
  • Angel
  • HudsonTrident, Inc.
  • GAC Shipping
  • Sec -Ex (The Security Industry Exchange)
    Sec-Ex is about efficiency; to save time and money.
  • Weekly Threat & Activity Report
    Receive free weekly threat and activity reports on maritime security. Maritime news including piracy, armed robbery, terrorism, narcotics, and more!
  • Navarino
    Navarino is the maritime industry's most advanced communications and connectivity company
  • Pen Test Partners LLP
    Penetration testing and security services

Insights from CSO Workshops in Hamburg 27th May and Athens 5th July

Guns, Guards and Best Practice 
July 7th 2017
Guns, Guards and Best Practice
The focus of the events was the alleged weapons and security guard swapping in the Indian Ocean. CSOs are ultimately accountable for the legality of any weapon being used on their vessels and so it’s up to the CSO to ensure that all checks and relevant due diligence have been exercised and that the documentation and certification is verified. 

How can CSOs deliver this when there is little time nor resource?

Threat in the Indian Ocean

The event started with the assessment that attacks against the merchant marine in the Indian Ocean, around one to two per annum, are the ‘new norm’. The eradication of these attacks is not on the horizon so work needs to be done to effectively mitigate these threats.

Quality and Legality of Armed Guards 

Ship-owners pay for certified, trained armed guards and it was stated that as much as 50% of the market may well be utilising illegal firearms with poorly trained guards, with all the subsequent risks. Even highly trained soldiers with just one weapons system make mistakes, with negligent discharges. So poorly trained guards, using multiple weapon types do carry the risk to cause injuries to crew and the guards themselves, with subsequent delays, investigations and possible arrests.

Floating Armouries have a role to play

Two floating armoury owners attended the Hamburg workshop. They shared the view that the treat will be here for some time. They too shared the concern and fully support any regulation to halt illegal weapon and guard distribution and expressed willing to implement measures in the future that would help eliminate the use of illegal weapons in the maritime sector. 

End User Certificates - A few quick questions for your PMSC

If you ask for EUC evidence, if this does not come back by return, you will have an insight that you may well be carrying illegal weapons

·       there is no EUC available, 

·       the EUC is not issued by a State Authority - No one else can issue legal EUC

·       the EUC states another security company’s name

·       the EUC does not contain the serial number of the weapons scheduled to embark your vessel.  

Why do this?  

The legalities have as yet not been tested in court, but based on the evidence in hand most insurers would be able to decline a claim if illegal weapons had been taken on board.

It is clear many CSOs are simply unaware of the risk, but with a team of kindred spirits we have been kicking this issue to deliver a workable solution for two years.  

Solution under development - Free to use Automated End User Certificate Checker

The Security in Complex Environment Group (http://www.sceguk.org.uk) listened to its member PMSCs and agreed to act. The good news is that any PMSC in the world is welcome to join this initiative. The plan is to create a NEWCO with a sole focus to ethically manage the verification and management of the automated end user certificate checking platform. They will create a tender to ensure the most effective and cyber safe software is utilised. This respects the various solutions already on the market. The process is underway and we have every expectation the funding is in place to ensure an effective delivery. 

CSO and wide Industry support is vital

Getting to this stage is only half the battle. The portal, its messaging, delivery and benefits of use must be crystal clear. CSOs need to engage, which requires a deep and full understanding of the issues. Flag states have a role in actively pushing support. Already the Marshall Island have indicated a desire to align the portal for their certification and due diligence needs. P&I, K&R and other insurers need to be made aware there is an effective free to use compliance tool which helps mitigate risk. BIMCO have been active in supporting and have a vital role to play. Thanks to Phil Tinsley and the team of LSS SAPU who created the workshop events in Hamburg and Athens to allow these concerns and the ideas for a way forward to be debated.