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Shipping Industry Indian Ocean High Risk Area

The Joint Industry Security Group of Trade Associations, comprising BIMCO, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), the International Chamber of Shipping, Intercargo, Intertanko, IMCA and OCIMF (the Oil Companies International Marine Forum) note that on 1 January 2023 the Shipping Industry Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA) for piracy will be removed. The removal of the HRA reflects a significantly improved piracy situation in the region. Voyage preparation, threat, and risk assessment as part of following Best Management Practice 5 (BMP5) remain essential. BMP5 reporting processes and the presence of international naval forces remains in place until further notice.

What will change

  • As announced on 22 August 2022 the Indian Ocean HRA for piracy will be removed on 1 January 2023.
  • The area being removed is the High-Risk Area as currently shown on UKHO Chart Q6099.

What will not change

  • The Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) administered by UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) has not changed;
  • Ships entering the VRA are encouraged to report to the UKMTO and register with the Maritime Security Centre for the Horn of Africa in accordance with Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea (BMP 5);
  • The presence of international navies and the naval missions of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has not changed.  (As a measure of reassurance, the counter-piracy task force of CMF, under Brazilian Navy leadership, will conduct the focused operation ‘Mare Liberum III’ from 5–9 January. The objective of this exercise is to highlight the continued presence of navies, and the importance of following the BMP5 instructions and navigating through the International Recommended Transit Corridor to be safe and secure.)
  • A thorough threat and risk assessment should continue to be conducted for all voyages for the threats identified in section 2 of BMP5. The risks these threats pose to merchant ships will be dependent on the particulars of the vessel, the owners, the cargo, and its voyage. 

Advice on maritime security threats can be obtained from a variety of sources including the following:

New threat guidance to replace the Indian Ocean HRA for piracy

In early 2023, the co-authors of this guidance plan to produce new threat guidance to inform the voyage risk assessments of owners, operators, and charterers. This will initially focus on the Indian Ocean and the Black Sea and should eventually expand in geographical scope over time. The information provided will be periodically reviewed and updated as necessary.

IMCA Contact

Nicholas Hough
Consultant - Safety and Security

Information Note Details

Published date: 20 December 2022
Information note ID: 1631


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