Call for Maritime Security to Become an EU Competence
Maritime security should be regulated through an EU wide policy to avoid a costly plethora of national standards, said maritime security company GoAGT.
Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of GoAGT, said, “At the moment, EU member states are legislating independently and creating an incoherent patch work of regulations across Europe for private maritime security services. Collectively these are expensive to implement and this additional cost is inevitably passed onto the shipping companies.”
His comment follows the decision last month by the PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid) faction in the Netherland’s House of Parliament to block the cabinet’s plan to allow security on Dutch vessels sailing in the waters off Somalia, where piracy is still a latent threat.
Northwood said, “Just as the EU has provided a clear and transparent policy for managing aviation matters across the region, there is a good case for it becoming more involved in member states’ maritime transport policy. The reputable maritime security companies have good training standards, and flag states therefore have less to fear than they did when this industry started out back in 2008/09. Yet, there is still room for standards to be raised in some sections of the industry, and if we are to ensure there is a quality service provided to all shipping companies, making it an area for EU competence seems to be the way forward.”
He added, “With ISO/PAS 28007 we have an international standard that distinguishes those private maritime security companies that are capable of delivering a professional service. However, ISO/PAS 28007 still needs to be broadly adopted as ‘the’ international regulatory standard, and flag states should start to recognize this so that there is a uniform criteria.”