BIMCO has authored a set of guidelines which aim to assist shipowners with the Ship and Voyage Specific Risk Assessment (SVSRA) which is recommended in Section 3 of the Best Management Practices (BMP4). BMP4 briefly mentions that such a ship and voyage specific risk assessment entails combining statutory requirements with additional anti-piracy measures, but does little to explain what this means.
The guidelines explain how the SVSRA should take into consideration the threat (who are the pirates, what do they want to achieve, how do they attack, how do they board, which weapons do they use etc.), the background factors shaping the situation (visibility, sea-state, traffic patterns e.g. other commercial ships, fishermen and human traffickers etc.), possibilities for co-operation with e.g. military (convoys, group transits, registering with authorities etc.), the ship’s characteristics/inherent capabilities to withstand the threat (freeboard, speed, general arrangement etc.) and the ship’s procedures (drills, watch rosters, chain of command, decision making processes etc.) as well as statutory requirements and requirements driven by e.g. company and/or insusrance policies.
The guidelines are just that – guidelines – and they are particularly targeted at shipowners’ staff working ashore or at sea with a special interest in anti-piracy, e.g. Company Security Officers, Ship Security Officers and Masters. Although particularly interesting for those with limited experience in carrying out risk assessments, the guidelines will likely be a worthwhile read for the more experienced staff too.
The SVSRA Guidelines are available to members of BIMCO in the piracy section of the BIMCO website.