Technical Circular No:63/2018

Subject: New Security Guidance- Anti Piracy, BMP 5 and GCPG.

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  • In June 2018, the 5th edition of Best Management Practice (BMP5) was published focusing to “Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea”.
  • BMP5 has a different approach to antipiracy measures implementation. The Risk/threat identification and understanding plays a key role to this edition. Additionally, the implementation of antipiracy measures follows the conducted risk assessment necessary for all vessels planning to transit through identified areas of risk.
  • Compare to changes in structure of the guidance and content from BMP4; the BMP5 includes changes in form MSCHOA Vessel Registration, piracy attack report with inclusion of additional information regarding vessels structure and availability of anti-piracy measures. Also a new voyage reference card is given as annex to the BMP5 which provides a list of actions that are required to be conducted by the vessel which is intended to transit the HRA. In BMP4 High Risk Area Identifications was done by Latitude-Longitude while in BMP5 these are defined on Maritime Security chart UKHO Q6099.
  • The fundamental requirements BMP5 consists of:
  1. Understand the threat
  2. Conduct risk assessments
  3. Implement ship protection measures
  4. Report
  5. Cooperate
  • The content of BMP5:
  1. Updates the risk/threat assessment, planning, reporting, and mitigation process.
  2. Updates transit corridors.
  3. Provides clear advice on the use of Private Maritime Security Contractors.
  4. Reiterates and updates self-protective measures.
  5. Updates reporting procedures and forms, with an emphasis on the role of the mariner in reporting suspicious activity to UKMTO.
  6. Identifies new maritime security threats that present a real danger to mariners in the region, to include concerns regarding regional instability and conflict, which have resulted in the targeting of ships by extremist groups using weapons such as anti-ship missiles, sea mines, and water–borne improvised explosive devices.
  • Along with BMP5, a new publication called Global Counter Piracy Guidance (GCPG) for companies, masters and seafarers is published providing general guidance to protect seafarers, the ship and cargo and to facilitate threat and risk assessment and planning for voyages transiting areas where the threat of attack by pirates and armed robbers exists. The GCPG consists of following
  1. General advice and recommendations that are common to mitigate against attack by pirates and armed robbers;
  2. Guidance on threat and risk assessment, planning and the implementation of self-protection measures; and
  3. Appendix A providing information on security threats and the fundamental requirements and recommendations to ensure that companies and ships can respond to those threats in a proportionate and dynamic way.
  4. Annexes providing information on regions where there is a risk of piracy and armed robbery and where prior planning and preparation before transiting the region is recommended.
  • As per requirement of BMP5, vessels entering the Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) are recommended to register with and report to the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) and The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).
  • Reporting to UKMTO consists of following and is to be done via email :
  1. Initial Report (Upon entering the VRA): “Vessel Position Reporting Form - Initial Report”
  2. Daily Report (update on ship’s position, course and speed): “Vessel Position Reporting Form - Daily Position Report” and
  3. Final Report (Upon reaching port or upon exiting the VRA): “Vessel Position Reporting Form - Final Report”
  4. Reports of suspicious/irregular activity (when necessary).

These reporting forms are attached as Annex to the BMP.

  • Republic of Liberia has issued marine security advisory-04/2018 providing information on implementation of self-protection measures and reporting requirements for Liberian flagged vessels.
  • Ship owners/ operators and masters are advised to take note of above and ensure that crew is familiarized with the requirements given in attached marine security advisory and BMP5.


  1. Marine Security Advisory-04/2018
  2. Best Management Practices- BMP5
  3. Global Counter Piracy Guidance (GCPG)


This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.

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