Updated Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Coast of Somalia

1 July 2010

The industry developed Best Management Practice (BMP) guidelines for reducing the risk of capture by Somalian pirates has recently been updated and the new guidelines (Edition 3) as attached.  These guidelines are clearer than the previous version in a number of respects, but the main difference includes acknowledgement of their applicability to the Indian Ocean.  They also offer some guidance to crew in circumstances where pirates have achieved strategic control of a ship.

Along with other industry bodies, the IG firmly recommend that Members pay close attention to the BMP when preparing a ship for transit through an area where the risk of attack by pirates exists.  There are two reasons for doing so:

1.                  Capture Avoidance

2.                  Reducing exposure to claims

Capture Avoidance

The BMP contains advice which can reduce the risk of seizure.  The Naval Authorities support the view that effective implementation of the BMP materially reduces that risk.

Reducing exposure

If despite best efforts, a ship is captured, claims may arise from:

Crew  for loss of personal effects, for physical injury and in certain cases, trauma.


a) Loss, depreciation or delay

b) Contested contributions to any ransom payment or associated expenses (through GA)

Charterers  off-hire

A Members ability to resist any of the above claims will substantially turn on their ability to demonstrate that they took reasonable precautions to prepare the vessel at the commencement of the voyage for the risk of attack by pirates.  Members that can demonstrate an effective implementation of BMP will be better placed to prove seaworthiness.