This resource page provides guidance and links to the latest information, resources and intelligence on maritime security issues.

The information is collated in date order with the most recent information appearing at the top of the page. In the right hand column are links to external resources.

The UK Club’s Loss Prevention department, together with Hellenic War Risks and Terra Firma Risk Management, have produced a guide for seafarers, which explores the background of Piracy and armed robbery and explains what happens during a kidnap. It also provides some insight into the training available for shipping companies and crews.

BIMCO, ICS, INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO have jointly released an updated version of ‘Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Masters for Protection Against Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea Region.’  This document now supersedes the previous guidance for the region.

UK Club’s Loss Prevention department provides practical guidance to Members in relation to piracy in West Africa. There has been a sizable shift in pirate activity, from Somali to West Africa, and an increase in incidents ...

BIMCO warn against fake GUARDCON contracts that may contain subtle amendments to the liability provisions could prove to be a costly error for a shipowner if something goes wrong.

Circular 3/14:  Amended BIMCO GUARDCON contract for the employment of security guards on vessels off West Africa

An updated edition of the International Group FAQs on Piracy is set out below.  These FAQs have been extended in response to the greater incidence of piracy and other violent crimes against ships and seafarers off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea.  The text has also been refreshed to update references to the latest editions of advisory material as well as developments in regulatory and contractual arrangements.  These FAQs have been issued by the other International Group clubs.  If you have any enquiries regarding this material please refer them to your usual Club contact in the first instance.

The Club has received the following update on Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea from its correspondents in the area.

Due to the continuing high numbers of hijackings, attacks and attempted boarding in West African areas around the Gulf of Guinea, emergency contact numbers have been issued by the local authorities.

The International Group FAQs address questions such as do armed guards prejudice P&I cover and what are 'weapons of war'.  Contractual questions relating to armed guards and charterers and issues on general average and ransoms are also covered here.

The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in close co operation with UKMTO have translated Best Management Practices 4 into Chinese.  This essential guide, now in Chinese,  designed to...

A recent case saw one of our Member vessels hijacked twice within a ten week period. On both occasions the ship was loaded with a cargo of petroleum and was drifting off Lagos waiting her turn to lighter. Acts of...

This pdf document "Interim guidance to UK flagged shipping on the use of armed guards to defend against the threat of piracy in exceptional circumstances"  sets out the UK government’s policy on the use of armed guards onboard UK ships and the exceptional circumstances under which their use may be considered.

Following to the Club’s notice and distribution of the electronic version of Best Management Practice 4 (BMP4) the hard copy format is now available... 

The pirate attacks in recent weeks off Togo and Benin are a reminder of the threat to shipping around the west coast of Africa and of the need for precautions in this region.  Relatively low-level criminal attacks seeking to steal cash and valuable equipment have escalated to incidents of attempted ship hijack and theft of cargoes. The Club has previously issued specific loss prevention bulletins (No. 763 and No. 623) on the threat from west African piracy.  These are in the Maritime Security and Piracy section of our Knowledge & Developments area, together with advice on Indian Ocean threats. 

BMP4;  Best Management Practice to deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and Arabian Sea Area

When the International Maritime Organisation met back in May it approved proposed interim guidance to owners and operators for the use of armed guards on board ships in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The recommendations...

Incidents of Piracy have been reported in the regions surrounding Puerto la Cruz & Barcelona City anchorages off the north coast of Venezuela. We understand support in such...

Members should be made aware of a worrying change in motives and tactics adopted by Pirates off the West African coast. Previously attacks off the West Africa coast could...

From the 1st April this year a new agreement in respect of seafarers’ pay and compensation for service in the area off Somalia takes effect.  Discussions between the ITF and the Joint Negotiating Group of employers’ associations during the course of March arrived at an agreement to maintain the existing High Risk Area off Somalia and create a new Extended Risk Zone into the Arabian Sea and north Indian Ocean.

Doubled wages and compensation whilst transiting the original 'High Risk Area' remain.  In this new Extended Risk Zone, each seafarer will be entitled to a double wages / compensation on any day during which the vessel is attacked. However, seafarers will not have the right to ask to be repatriated prior to entering or whilst transiting the Extended Risk Zone.  The Club is seeking clarification whether the POEA have amended their Board Resolution No. 4, Series of 2008, dated 7/10/08.  

This was spotted on one of our members vessels. Good anti piracy frames that slot into pre-fabricated brackets by the ships rails.(pic no.3) These frames can be made on board the vessel at little or no expense by...

This latest work in Munich Re’s knowledge series has been written as a contribution towards the international debate on this topical issue. Piracy – Threat at sea provides a risk analysis of the danger emanating from piracy and marine terrorism and explains the legal position at national and international levels. It highlights underwriting aspects and describes ways of minimising the risk.

The International Group clubs have been co-ordinating Members queries on piracy issues through their Maritime Security subcommittee. The most frequently asked questions have been collated into the following guidance note. This guidance note provides general clarification and guidance on a number of issues raised recently concerning insurance cover arising out of piracy incidents, for example, the engagement of on board unarmed or armed security personnel.

While a vessel was at anchorage off Lagos recently, the Master reported to the correspondent that he had been contacted by people purporting to be the agents, advising that they would be boarding. When these people arrived they were accompanied by several others, alleging to be police officers and dressed accordingly. The "police officers" proceeded to accuse the vessel of illegal bunkering and eventually drew their firearms with which they threatened the Master and crew and demanded money. The Master, fearing for both his own safety and that of the crew, was forced to give the men about $2,500 before they would agree to leave the vessel.

The SSA have advised their Members  to inform their masters to take necessary precautionary measures when their ships  transit the waters where the attack took place. They have  also requested them to report to SSA any cases where they become victims of an attack."  

The Association would like to take this opportunity to remind its members of the current situation in the area of the Gulf of Aden and Somalia.  

The Association has just made available, to Members trading in the Gulf of Aden area, “Piracy –The East Africa/Somalia Situation” a booklet aimed at providing practical information to assist seafarers faced with piracy. Members should contact their Club representative for copies.

Version 4 of the Best Management Practices to prepare and protect against Piracy off the Somali basin, Arabian Sea and the wider Indian Ocean.

The International Group clubs have been co-ordinating Members queries on piracy issues through their Maritime Security subcommittee. The most frequently asked questions have been collated into the following guidance note.This guidance note provides general clarification and guidance on a number of issues raised recently concerning insurance cover arising out of piracy incidents, for example, the engagement of on board unarmed or armed security personnel.



MSC.1/Circ.1405 Interim Guidance to Shipowners, Ship Operators, and Shipmasters on the use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area

This document is largely based on the Guidelines to Shipowners developed by the Industry. Some parts of the Liberian submission and the Norwegian War Risks Insurance Association have also been added to the Interim Guidance.



Anti-Piracy Chart Q6099
Click here to access the chart referred to in “Best management practices” document and published by the UK Hydrographic Office.

Useful links



Emergency Contacts

If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder

This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.