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Maritime Roundtable says welfare of seafarers paramount amid piracy threat

Responding to feedback on the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (IMO MSC) Circular MSC.1/Circ. 1334 recommending that ship masters report all incidents of piracy and sea robbery to the Rescue Coordinating Centre of the coastal states immediately, 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) Maritime Roundtable noted that some sectors within the shipping industry felt the need to further simplify this reporting procedure.

The discussion on the topic “Is a Single Reporting Centre the Answer to Timely Reporting, and Prompt Response against Piracy and Sea Robbery?” acknowledged that the welfare of seafarers was paramount and piracy must be addressed regardless of whether or not a “Single Reporting Centre” was feasible.

The Maritime Roundtable further 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.

The roundtable was co-moderated by ReCAAP ISC ed Masafumi Kuroki and executive deputy chairman of RSIS Ong Keng Yong.

Participants included 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.

“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,” said Kuroki.

“This mutual exchange goes a long way to foster better understanding, deepen cooperation, and enhance maritime safety for our seafarers,” he added.

“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,” said Ong.

The ReCAAP ISC-RSIS Maritime Roundtable was held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week 2018.

Read all the news from Singapore Maritime Week on our dedicated Live From Singapore Maritime Week 2018 page

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