A maritime security company which provides armed protection and anti-piracy services is leading the way for improved industry standards and governance.
Neptune Maritime Security has become one of a small number of accredited private maritime security companies (PMSC) to achieve associate membership of BIMCO, one of the world’s largest shipping associations.
BIMCO membership accounts for some 65 per cent of the world’s tonnage and has members in more than 120 countries.
Neptune, founded in 2009 by two former members of the Special Boat Service, a highly-regarded special forces unit in the UK, gained BIMCO membership after being successfully accredited with a new industry management standard, the ISO PAS (28007).
The company, which has offices in the UK, Dubai, Tokyo and Singapore, played an instrumental role in developing¬† the new internationally-recognised certification, which shows that a PMSC is able to conduct operations safely and has the correct governance.
General manager Ian Simpson, an ex-army commando with 31 years of service, chaired the Accreditation and Standards Group within the industry’s Security in Complex Environments¬† Group (SCEG), which contributed significantly with input to the drafting¬†of the standard.¬† Neptune was also chosen to take part in the UKAS pilot scheme.
Mr Simpson, who was a Captain in the British Army and a Major in the New Zealand Army, said: “As a leading private maritime security company (PMSC) we have been actively at the forefront of driving up standards in the industry.
“There are about 160 private maritime security companies worldwide but less than a dozen in BIMCO so far and because they have ISO PAS (28007) it is growing rapidly.
“Associate membership of BIMCO underlines our status in the shipping industry as a reliable, trusted, professional and well-run company.
“It demonstrates our absolute determination to provide the highest quality services for clients but also to continue to improve the reputation of the industry as a whole.”
Neptune, which has an operations and support centre in Dubai, has 60 highly-trained maritime security operatives stationed on vessels across the world at any one time.
Companies applying for ISO PAS (28007) undergo a rigorous audit by such accredited bodies as Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance to ensure that they operate legally, safely and effectively.
ISO PAS (28007) cuts red tape and time when a shipping company or third party is seeking to contract a PMSC as it demonstrates that¬† many assessments have already been successfully completed.
BIMCO and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are among those to back the ISO PAS (28007).
Neptune managing director Carl Sykes said: ‚ÄúAssociate Membership of BIMCO marks the end of a long period where Neptune has actively pushed for greater governance in the maritime security industry.
“I‚Äôm delighted that the company has achieved membership of such an august body and hope that our active participation will go some way to allay any concerns potential clients may have about armed security provision in the maritime environment. An unprotected ship is a vulnerable ship, which is why we are in demand.”
Giles Noakes,¬† BIMCO chief maritime security officer, added:¬† “BIMCO was intimately involved in the development of ISO PAS (28007).
“We are offering associate membership in full confidence of the suitability of ISO 28007 as a single common standard for PMSCs and would encourage all PMSCs to progress down this route.
“The rigorous auditing and standards required are the only comprehensive and safe process for our members to carry out due diligence and ¬†choose the right company.”
Neptune also provides specialist services for the cruise industry, superyachts, ports and the offshore energy sector.
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