Liberian Registry produces best-practice anti-piracy programme

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The Liberian Registry has taken a lead in the fight against piracy by producing an innovative computer-based programme specifically designed to train seafarers and company security officers in the practices necessary to avoid, deter or delay acts of piracy.

The decision to produce the Best Management Practice (BMP) programme was taken following a New York meeting in May this year of the UN Contact Group on Somalian Piracy, at which the Republic of Liberia signed the New York Declaration, a commitment to best management practice to avoid, deter or delay acts of piracy.

The New York Declaration is an agreement between the signatory flag states which condemns acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels and seafarers and recognises the effectiveness of self-protection measures taken by vessels. Governments which have signed the declaration have made a commitment which requires all vessels flying their flags to adopt and document self-protection measures as part of their compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

Scott Bergeron, Chief Operating Officer of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, said: “The IMO Maritime Safety Committee has deemed that guidance specific to the waters off the coast of Somalia is warranted and has agreed to promulgate Best Management Practices for use by shipowners, operators, managers, shipping companies, ship masters, and ship security officers.

“As a result – and as part of the Liberian Administration’s efforts to disseminate industry BMP amongst all relevant parties and to assist vessels in complying with the anti-piracy requirements – the Liberian Registry has teamed up with ICTS Europe, a UK-based security company to develop a computer-based training programme specifically designed for the use of merchant ships in the waters off Somalia.

“Training crews in how best to avoid and deal with incidents of piracy is a necessary but highly emotive issue in today’s shipping industry. The Liberian Registry believes in being proactive wherever possible in the interests of owners, operators and crew, and we are satisfied that providing practical training for crews is in this case the best and safest way forward,” he added. 

The Liberian Registry’s innovative BMP package uses state-of-the-art computer-based tools to offer a concise, interactive self-learning course. Whether on land or at sea, the BMP programme can run on any PC, providing an effective tool to improve the competence, confidence and preparedness of masters and crews.

The training programme includes a certification test, using multi-choice questions to assess understanding of the training material. Printable, recognised certificates are automatically generated upon successful completion of the course, as is a printable report for the ship master or chief security officer which summarises the status of training and certification for each crew member.

The programme has been developed to help users comply with industry recommendations. It is approved by insurance companies as a measure for active risk reduction. Each crew member can proceed with the course at his or her own pace, and training can be carried out on board, without interfering with the daily routine of the crew.

The programme is extremely user-friendly, and implementation is straightforward. There is no need for software installation because, once the CD is inserted in the PC drive, the program runs automatically. For a free demonstration of the program, please click on: http://www.ictseuropesystems.com/flash/BMP-Demo/index.html

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