A continued downward trend in Somali piracy has prompted leading shipping organisations to reduce the geographic boundaries of the ‘High Risk Area’ (HRA) for piracy in the Indian Ocean, which apply from 1 September 2021.In broad terms, the changes agreed by BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, and OCIMF, representing the global shipping and oil industries, will reduce the HRA boundaries to the Yemeni and Somali Territorial Seas and Exclusive Economic Zones in its eastern and southern reaches.
The organisations, in consultation with international partners, will also take a comprehensive new approach to assessing international maritime security threats to allow shipowners and operators to fully gauge the risk of voyages worldwide. This second step is expected to be completed by 31 December.
The HRA was created at the height of the Somali piracy threat in 2010 to show shipowners, operators, and seafarers where pirates operated and where extra vigilance was required to avoid attacks. Subsequent updates to the HRA have reflected the changing nature of threats in the region, including the suppression of Somali pirate action. Somali pirate groups have not attacked a merchant vessel since 2017.
Please refer to the attached picture, HRA has been revised as follows:
From position A (Latitude of 01 30’S on the Somali coast), a line to
Position B (01° 30’ S – 046° 00’ E), a line to
Position C (01° 00’ N – 049° 30’ E), a line to
Position D (09° 00’ N – 055° 00’ E), a line to
Position E (14° 20’ N – 057° 30’ E), a line to
Position F (the Yemen coast at longitude 053° 00’ E), then
Follow the Yemeni coast westwards and northwards, to
Position G (the Yemeni Red Sea coast at latitude 15° 00’ N), then a line to
Position H (the Eritrea territorial sea border at latitude 15° 00’ N), then
Follow southwards first Eritrea’s and then Djibouti’s territorial sea borders, to
Position I (the coastal border point between Djibouti and Somalia), then
Follow the Somali coast eastwards and then southwards, to Position A.
Even though the dimensions of HRA have been reduced, it is stated that the threat of piracy in the region has not gone away and other security risks may be of concern. An ongoing risk assessment, a high level of vigilance, increased security measures & controls, compliance with BMP5 in conjunction with ‘Global Counter Piracy Guidance for Companies, Masters and Seafarers’ and any Flag Administration guidelines is essential before entry into, or when operating in, the area defined as the HRA, to protect against possible acts of piracy.
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.