BIMCO standard contract for use of onboard security

BIMCO has published the GUARDCON contract for the employment of security guards on vessels. 

Although not endorsing the use of security guards on board vessels, it addresses key issues including adequate insurance, lawful transport and carry weapons, liability provisions and the Master’s responsibility for the vessel.  Our Club circular 5/12 provides guidance on cover and other issues relating to this new contract.

The provisions of GUARDCON have been reviewed by the International Group’s Maritime Security subcommittee and conform with Club cover and Pooling requirements.

However, Club Circular 5/12 (BIMCO GUARDCON contract for the employment of security guards on vessels) stresses that cover for any amendments to GUARDCON must be agreed in advance with the club.

Whilst GUARDCON harmonises differing contractual terms arising from the variety of Private Maritime Security Contractors (PMSC’s) it is not a recommendation for their use by the Group clubs.  Furthermore, security guards are not a substitute for strict compliance with Best Management Practices.

Placing security guards on board a vessel should only be considered after a risk assessment has been carried out and the Master should be involved in the decision-making process.

A separate guidance document accompanies GUARDCON “Guidance on the Rules for the Use of Force” and forms part of any contract employing private maritime security contractors.  This document together with a specimen copy of the contract and explanatory notes can be downloaded together with Circular 5/12.

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