August, 2013 – Piracy and armed robbery against ships

Carriage of Firearms: IMO does not endorse carriage of firearms by seafarers, or the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships. Current IMO guidance on: Carriage of firearms on board merchant ships: • Masters, shipowners and companies should be aware that ships entering the territorial sea and/or ports of a State are subject to that State’s legislation. It should be borne in mind that importation of firearms is subject to port and coastal State regulations. It should also be borne in mind that carrying firearms may pose an even greater danger if the ship is carrying flammable cargo or similar types of dangerous goods. Non-arming of seafarers: • The carrying and use of firearms by seafarers for personal protection or for the protection of a ship is strongly discouraged; • Carriage of arms on board ship may encourage attackers to carry firearms or even more dangerous weapons, thereby escalating an already dangerous situation. Any firearm on board may itself become an attractive target for an attacker;