BIMCO is set to issue a set of Guidelines for GUARDCON when using private military and¬†security companies (PMSCs) as intermediaries employing local militia as security guards. At the 7 November meeting of the Documentary Committee it was agreed to publish a ‚Äúhealth warning‚Äù to advise owners of things they should take into account when considering using GUARDCON with PMSCs as intermediaries to employ local military or law enforcement personnel as security guards within the territorial waters of a state (chiefly West Africa at this time).
GUARDCON was originally drafted in the context of Indian Ocean piracy that was predominant at the time and which took place in international waters. Using GUARDCON to contract with PMSCs to employ local security personnel within territorial waters (as required by the law of the state) requires special considerations and amendments.
Although owners can, if they wish, recruit the services of local military or law enforcement personnel directly through locally-based agents, GUARDCON is not suitable for this type of agency arrangement and should not be used for this purpose. If owners choose to use the services of a PMSC to assist with the planning, administration and logistics of using local military personnel in an intermediary role, the guidelines will assist in providing some suggested amendments to GUARDCON to cater for these special circumstances.
The GUARDCON Guidelines are due for publication in early December.