Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships Definitions and Actions | Maritime piracy

WHAT IS PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS AND WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER AN INCIDENT?

Definitions

Piracy, in accordance with Article 101 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is defined as: 

1. “Piracy” means any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal act of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:

(i) on the high seas, against another ship, or against persons or property on board such ship;     

(ii) against a ship, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;

(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;

(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

Armed Robbery Against Ships, in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Investigation of Crimes of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Assembly Resolution A.1025(26), is defined as:

2. “Armed robbery against ships” means any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal act of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, or threat thereof, other than an act of “piracy”, committed for private ends and directed against a ship, or against persons or property on board such ship, within a State’s internal waters, archipelagic waters and territorial sea; 

(b) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described above.

Actions to Take If You Encounter Incidents of Piracy or Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia

In accordance to the MSC.1/Circ 1334 on ‘Guidance to ships owners, ship operators, ship masters and crew on preventing and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships’, the flow diagram on Procedure for Reporting Incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia is shown below:

Reporting Maritime Piracy

Diagram 1 – Flow Diagram for Reporting Incidents in Asia according to IMO MSC.1/Circ 1334

Notes:

  1. The RCCs of some ReCAAP Contracting Parties are also their ReCAAP Focal Points. These Focal Points also disseminate incident information internally to their respective RCCs, maritime authorities and law enforcement agencies as appropriate.
  2. The ReCAAP Focal Points are governmental agencies designated by the respective Contracting Parties of the ReCAAP Agreement.
  1. The incident reporting process in Asia does not change other reporting processes for incidents already in practice.

Lodge an Incident Report with ReCAAP ISC

While not mandatory, shipowners, ship operators and shipping companies are encouraged to report all “Actual” and “Attempted” incidents related to piracy and armed robbery at sea as soon as possible to ReCAAP ISC using this online form https://www.recaap.org/lodge-incident-report

You are encouraged to provide as much details as possible; the information reported will be kept strictly confidential.