Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) has signed a voluntary naval cooperation protocol with MICA Center (French Navy) to reinforce the security of its managed vessels operating in high-risk areas.
A Voluntary Naval Cooperation Protocol was signed between the French Navy and CSM to strengthen the security of merchant vessels transiting through the South China Sea and the Strait of Singapore Malacca, passing through the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden, calling on West African ports and the Gulf of Guinea, or sailing in the Mediterranean.
The signed agreement means CSM vessels will have greater awareness and therefore protection from pirate attacks, hijacking and maritime terrorism. CSM will ensure vessels comply with Best Management Practice while also working in cooperation with the Maritime Information Cooperation and Awareness Centre (MICA), and report any suspicious activities to the MICA Watchkeeper. CSM will contribute to safeguarding all vessels by reporting to MICA who monitors worldwide security of maritime areas.
Demetris Chrysostomou, Managing Director of CSM for the Asia region / Group Business Development Director, said: “The signing of a voluntary naval cooperation protocol with the French Navy ensures the long-term safety of our crew and our ships. CSM also provides additional levels of safety and security to mariners around the world by providing information to the MICA Custodian for their analysis. We are delighted to be working in collaboration with the French Navy to make our oceans safer for all.”
Commander Jérémy Bachelier of the French Navy, in charge of the maritime security in South-East Asia Seas (ALPACI) added: “Thanks to this agreement, the French Navy will work to ensure safer seas for CSM merchant ships. Working with CSM merchant vessels will allow us to gather valuable information and in return will allow us to contribute to greater finesse in the development of our analysis and recommendations in matters of maritime safety to all the shipowners, charterers and operators participating in this protocol. We look forward to working with CSM to ensure safer voyages for all international crews and vessels.”
The agreement came into effect on December 16th and provides additional security to more than 275 vessels.