Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Waters off the Coast of Somalia
Applicable to: Shipowners, shipmanagers and shipmasters of Singapore ships and the shipping community.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has sent out a circular MSC.1/Circ.1233, which gives precautionary advice on the problem of piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia. Owners, operators and managers and masters of Singapore ships are advised to take note of this circular MSC.1/Circ.1233, which can be accessed as Attachment A.
Your attention is drawn specially to the advice relating to paragraphs 2 and 3 of MSC.1 / Circ.1233, which are reproduced below:
(2) The hijacking of ships and demands for payment of ransoms for the release of crew and cargo appear to have become a common problem, with the perpetrators having also been engaged in attacks on, and seizure of, ships carrying food aid to Somalia under the auspices of the United Nations World Food Programme.
(3) Whilst most of the incidents have reportedly occurred at distances ranging up to 200 nautical miles off the Somali coast (suggesting a pattern of well organised and co-coordinated activities), there have also been cases of attacks that have taken place in Somalia’s territorial sea. The extent of the incidents is very difficult to gauge and there may have been several other unreported cases.”
In taking measures to prevent and suppress piracy and armed robbery against ships, Owners, operators and managers and masters of Singapore ships are also advised to take note of the IMO circular MSC/Circ.623/Rev.3, which can be accessed as Attachment B.
Shipowners, managers and operators are requested to take note of the above information and make the necessary arrangements if their ships are calling at ports in Somalia.
This shipping circular revokes shipping circular No. 7 of 2006.
Any queries relating to this circular should be directed to Mr Wong Kai Cheong at Tel: +65 6375 6236.
KHONG SHEN PING / DIRECTOR OF MARINE
MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE