Maritime leaders debate ways to counter piracy

Is a single reporting centre the answer to timely reporting, and prompt response against piracy and sea robbery?

The topic of discussion, “Is a Single Reporting Centre the Answer to Timely Reporting, and Prompt Response against Piracy and Sea Robbery?” draws on a feedback pertaining to the International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee (IMO MSC) Circular MSC.1/Circ. 1334.
This circular recommends ship masters report all incidents to the Rescue Coordinating Centre of the coastal states immediately. Notwithstanding, some sectors within the shipping industry feel the need to further simplify this reporting procedure.
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) co-organised this maritime roundtable.

Effectively addressing piracy

Participants acknowledged that whether or not a “Single Reporting Centre” was feasible, the welfare of seafarers and safety of sea lanes are important.  Moreover, authority and industry must effectively addressed piracy.
Also, the maritime roundtable affirmed the importance of continuing to build the capacity of coastal states to combat maritime crimes.  Additionally, the roundtable called for more channels to enhance the cooperation between regional authorities and the shipping industry.

Open and frank discussion

Masafumi Kuroki, executive director of ReCAAP ISC said the roundtable provided participants with an opportunity to facilitate a frank and open discussion on a single reporting centre, which is an issue of keen interest to the shipping community.
He also reiterated ReCAAP ISC is committed to bringing together stakeholders from regulatory and enforcement authorities and the shipping industry to hear each other’s perceptions and concerns on the topic.
“This mutual exchange goes a long way to foster better understanding, deepen cooperation, and enhance maritime safety for our seafarers.”
Amb. Ong Keng Yong, executive deputy chairman of RSIS, commented on the relevance of the roundtable.
“I am happy that the event went well. This setting [of a roundtable] proves to be a useful avenue for open discussions and raising of difficult questions among relevant stakeholders. It is a good confidence-building initiative, which we should continue to support.”
The ReCAAP ISC-RSIS Maritime Roundtable was held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week 2018.
Participants included the following.

  • Senior representatives from IMO
  • International and regional shipping associations such as the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA), BIMCO, INTERTANKO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), OCIMF, Singapore Shipping Association (SSA)
  • Maritime regulatory and enforcement agencies such as the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Thailand Maritime Enforcement Coordinating Centre (Thai-MECC), Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG)
  • Information sharing/reporting centres such as ReCAAP ISC, International Maritime Bureau (IMB), and Information Fusion Centre (IFC); and RSIS, a research institute

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