“Single Reporting Centre” for Piracy and Sea Robbery

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ReCAAP ISC and RSIS Co-organises Maritime Roundtable on “Single Reporting Centre” for Piracy and Sea Robbery

This is the first Maritime Roundtable co-organised by ReCAAP ISC and RSIS to discuss issues relating to the topic: “Is a Single Reporting Centre the Answer to Timely Reporting, and Prompt Response against Piracy and Sea Robbery?”

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) today co-organised a Maritime Roundtable co-moderated by Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC and Amb. Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS.

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 that ship masters report all incidents of piracy and sea robbery 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.

Held under the Chatham House Rule, participants of the roundtable include 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.

The Maritime Roundtable acknowledged that whether or not a “Single Reporting Centre” was feasible, the welfare of seafarers and safety of sea lanes are important, and that piracy must be effectively addressed. The Maritime Roundtable also affirmed the importance of continuing to build the capacity of Coastal States to combat maritime crimes, as well as ways to continue to enhance the cooperation between the regional authorities and the shipping industry.

“In developing the topic for discussion, ReCAAP ISC worked closely with RSIS and the maritime community,” said Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC. “This roundtable provides us 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. It underscores ReCAAP ISC’s commitment 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.

 

The Piracy and Sea Robbery Situation in Asia in April 2018

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    A total of three incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in April 2018

  • Of these, one was an incident of piracy and two were incidents of armed robbery against ships
  • There was no incident of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Sea; and no incident of hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo
  • Of the three incidents reported in April 2018, two incidents occurred on board ships while underway and one incident on board ship at anchor
  • Of the three incidents reported in April 2018, one was a CAT 3 incident that occurred at Muara Berau anchorage, Indonesia, one was a CAT 4 incident that occurred in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (off Pulau Batam, Indonesia) and one was an attempted piracy incident occurred in the South China Sea
  • There was no CAT 1 or CAT 2 incidents reported in April 2018
  • The severity of incidents had lessened in April 2017 and April 2018 compared to the same period of 2009-2016

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About ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC)

The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) is the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. The Agreement entered into force on September 4, 2006 with 14 Asian countries as Contracting Parties, and the Information Sharing Centre was established on November 29, 2006. To date, 20 States (14 Asian countries, 4 European countries, Australia, the USA) have become Contracting Parties to ReCAAP. To fulfil its vision as the Information Hub for combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia, ReCAAP ISC enhances regional cooperation through information sharing, capacity building and cooperative arrangements. For more information about ReCAAP ISC, please visit http://www.recaap.org

 About the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

The S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) is a professional graduate school of international affairs at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. RSIS’ mission is to develop a community of scholars and policy analysts at the forefront of security studies and international affairs. Its core functions are research, graduate education and networking. It produces cutting-edge research on Asia Pacific Security, Multilateralism and Regionalism, Conflict Studies, Non-traditional Security, International Political Economy, and Country and Region Studies. RSIS’ activities are aimed at assisting policymakers to develop comprehensive approaches to strategic thinking on issues related to security and stability in the Asia Pacific.

For more information about RSIS, please visit www.rsis.edu.sg

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