The Panama Maritime Authority has accredited ESC Global Security personnel to offer protection aboard Panamanian-registered vessels, in what is thought to mark the first Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) licence issued under the new Panama Administration.
During December 2014, a new set of rules including a new licence fee for PMSCs was introduced whereby failure to comply would result in the revocation or suspension of a security company’s operating licence. The new rules also include more stringent requirements for the registration of armed guards and the way in which private maritime security companies are audited.
The new Panamanian rules are in place to ensure security companies are in compliance with or go beyond the requirements outlined by the IMO in Resolution MSC.349 (92), which entered into force in January 2015.
”Ships operating offshore Somalia, West Africa and the Indonesian archipelago continue to be attacked by pirates and armed criminals, which can result not only in the loss of assets but also in the loss of life,”Jaanus Rahumägi, ESC’s founding CEO and President, said.
”We cannot expect our merchant seamen to be soldiers or to understand the complex Rules of Engagement in different waters; it’s not their job.”