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Amid a complex and dynamic maritime security situation in West Africa,  ICS, in partnership with other shipping industry associations, has launched the BMP West Africa – Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security off the Coast of West Africa including the Gulf of Guinea. The publication is a new addition to the established BMP series and provides threat mitigation guidance on counter-piracy/armed robbery at sea.

The new BMP helps companies and mariners to risk-assess voyages and mitigate external threats to their safety while operating in and around the coast of West Africa, including the Gulf of Guinea.

This publication aims to help ships plan their voyage and to detect, avoid, deter, delay and report attacks. Experience has shown that application of the recommendations in this publication make a significant difference to the safety of seafarers.

The publication highlights, among others, the need of a Vessel Hardening Plan, which can ensure vessels are prepared for operations in areas of increased threat and out to be considered as part of the voyage preparation.

The implementation of ship protection measures that should be identified during the voyage planning process and clearly marked on the VHP.

This BMP complements piracy guidance in the latest International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Resolutions and Circulars (www.imo.org)