IMO Sec Gen: Aris 13 hijack underscores need to follow BMP

Aris 13 is being held off Puntland Aris 13 is being held off Puntland EU Naval Forces

MARCH 16, 2017 — Following of the hijacking of the tanker Aris 13, off Puntland, Somalia, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is urging the shipping industry to diligently apply IMO guidance and best management practices (BMP) to avert possible piracy attacks.

"While we have seen a very welcome decline in piracy off Somalia since the last reported hijack by Somali pirates in 2012, the reality is that piracy off the coast of Somalia has not been eradicated and the underlying conditions have not changed," said Mr. Lim. "Merchant shipping should continue to take protective measures against possible piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean through diligent application of IMO guidance and Best
Management Practices."

He also called upon the Federal Government of Somalia and its regional authorities in Puntland to take prompt action to ensure the safe and speedy release of the eight Sri Lankan seafarers.

Data on incidents reported to IMO shows that the hijacking of the Aris 13 is the first reported hijacking of a vessel covered by IMO regulations by Somali pirates since the tanker Smyrni in May 2012.

Since 2012, Somali pirates have continued to attempt to hijack ships, but less frequently. The most recent reported attempted attack in the region was on the UK flagged product tanker CPO Korea in October 2016. In that incident, the ship was reported safe after the attack failed.

Ships transiting the high-risk area are advised to follow IMO guidance and best management practices. Specifically, they should register with the Maritime Security Center – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), report to the U.K. Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) office in Dubai, which acts as the primary point of contact for merchant vessels and liaison with military forces in the region, implement IMO guidance and Best Management Practices (BMP), and follow the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).

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