Thursday, 16 May 2013


The history of the Panama Canal goes back to 16th century. After realizing the riches of Peru, Ecuador, and Asia, and upon counting the time it took the gold to reach the ports of Spain, it was suggested that by cutting out a piece of land somewhere in Panama.

The trips would be made shorter and the risk of taking the treasures through the isthmus would justify such an enterprise.

Constructions started in 1881

A survey of the isthmus was ordered and subsequently a working plan for a canal was drawn up in 1529. The wars in Europe and the thirsts for the control of kingdoms in the Mediterranean Sea simply put the project on permanent hold.

The ships for which the canal was designed are now long gone. Modern shipping has increased the size of ships. The increase in the tonnage in which can be carried has thus caused problems for the canal. The canal can only accommodate ships carrying up to 65,000 tons of cargo, but recently ships which are able to carry 500,000 tons have been introduced.

The problem of the ever-increasing size in ships has caused discussion into the construction of a new canal joining the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. There have been discussions on three alternative routes for a new canal, through; Columbia, Mexico and Nicaragua. The Columbian and Mexican routes would allow for the construction of a sea level canal, whereas the Nicaraguan route would require a lock system.

Despite the limit in ship size, the canal is still one of the most highly travelled waterways in the world, handling over 12,000 ships per year. The 51-mile crossing takes about nine hours to complete, an immense time saving when compared with rounding the tip of South America.

More to follow


Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers is one of the most recognized shipping professional and examining body for shipping courses.

ICS trained professionals are highly accredited for their skills, industry contribution and continue to play a leading role in the shipping and logistics.

Many colleges and training institutes have been offering this courses especially in Mombasa Kenya where shipping courses have become most popular.

Most students are however unable to join colleges due to increasing cost of tuition fees and requirements

Did you know you can do self study and sit for the exam after registering as a candidate and enrolling for the subject units?

Do you know the leading colleges where you can get this shipping courses?

Did you know Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers has a very active branch office in East Africa?

Did you know there are online tuitorship programs offered by individual training professionals?

For full guidance and assistance on how to study and become a professional in this growing global shipping industry, please contact: and discuss the available options

Friday, 5 April 2013

GoAGT Ltd. launches new range of maritime armed security teams

GoAGT Ltd. launches new range of maritime armed security teams

Friday, 05 April 2013 | 00:00
GoAGT Ltd. is to introduce a new, simplified range of security teams delivering excellence in the on-going fight against piracy and the threat of hijack.
The firm, a leading maritime security operator, has a 100% success rate guarding client ships on over 1,500 transits through the High Risk Area of the Indian Ocean.
GoAGT Ltd. employs over 200 ex-Royal Marine, Army, and Naval personnel, all holding at least eight years exemplary military service.
Now GoAGT Ltd has developed tiered security team options so clients can choose exactly the right team to suit their needs.
• Diamond Service - Both the team leader and team members are British – aimed at the major oil companies.
• Platinum Service - A British team leader with European team members – high quality security at a lower daily rate than the Diamond Service.
• Gold Plus Service - A British team leader with Filipino ex-marines as team members – ideal for mid to long-term transits.
• Gold Service - A European team leader with Filipino ex-marine team members – an economic option for vessels spending long periods in the High Risk Area.
GoAGT Ltd. Chief Operating Officer and renowned anti-piracy authority Gerry Northwood said: “We want to offer ship owners quality and choice through a clearly defined standard of service. Our clients will know exactly what they’re getting for their money. Having the right level of protection going through the Gulf of Aden remains crucial. Pirate gangs continue to mount frequent attacks on merchant vessels.”
Every GoAGT Ltd. armed security team comprises a leader accompanied by either two or three armed guards. All are fluent in written and spoken English.
The firm’s training and screening of all security personnel goes further than current industry best practice, ICoC, IMO and BIMCO Guidance.
This month GoAGT Ltd. again upgraded the technical kit its teams take to sea as it pushes for ISO28007 accreditation.
Former Royal Navy Captain, Gerry Northwood commanded a successful anti-piracy deployment around the Horn of Africa 18 months ago. He is available for interview and can be contacted on +356 22 48 71 00.
Formed in 2008, GoAGT Ltd. is now one of the best known names in the maritime security business. At any one time 160-180 of its security guards are at sea. The company recruits from the UK Royal Marines, Parachute and other Army regiments with front line experience, as well as the Irish Navy, Estonian Army and Filipino Marines.
It conducts extensive background checks on all security personnel, including verification of military service, academic qualifications, criminal record checks, and medical history.
Source: GoAGT Ltd.

WEEKLY PIRACY UPDATE for 28 Mar - 3 Apr 2013

Friday, 05 April 2013 | 00:00

Regional Considerations:
All masters are advised to maintain heightened vigilance when at anchor and when loitering/queuing as there may be a higher likelihood of these vessels being targeted by pirates. The uniform risk to merchant vessels throughout the HRA is a reminder of the need to be alert for such activity at all times. In order to mitigate any vulnerability, it is strongly recommended that all vessels maintain a high state of readiness, implementing BMPs and citadel preparedness, while in the HRA.
Sailing yachts should avoid transiting the HRA. Past activity has shown that pirates will attack both large and small yachts passing their way. Despite the fact that attacks on merchant vessels appear to have decreased, the possibility of attacks and the successful pirating of sailing vessels remains likely due to their vulnerability and the reduction of revenue sources from pirated merchant vessels.
There have been a number of incidents reported to counter-piracy organisations in the HRA involving small craft approaches to merchant vessels. Although these incidents may appear to be piracy related, the majority actually are not and have been assessed as non-piracy related activity common to the pattern of life in the area. This can include fishing, small vessel trade, smuggling and other local traffic.
Fishing vessels may approach a merchant ship to maximize fishing opportunities or to safeguard fishing nets and fishermen may carry small arms. It is not uncommon for fishing vessels to follow merchant and large vessels in order to capitalise on the often increased numbers of fish in the resultant wake. Please note that, if the NATO Shipping Centre assesses an approach or incident to be piracy-related, we will issue relevant warnings.
With the onset of the transition period following the North East Monsoon, sea states have become increasingly conducive to piracy operations.
Piracy Threat:
The threat of piracy against merchant shipping continues throughout the entire HRA. Successful disruptions by naval forces over the past few months, in conjunction with masters’ adherence and implementation of BMP4, have significantly reduced the pirates’ ability to capture vessels. However, pirates are able to act far off the coast of Somalia and are likely in search of vessels of opportunity.
Pirate Tactics:
Pirate Attack Groups (PAGs) have made “soft-approaches” on merchant ships transiting the HRA. A skiff will often approach a vessel to probe the reactivity of its embarked security team, if present. If they elicit no response, the pirates may then proceed with an attack, sometimes accompanied by a second skiff. This practice seems designed to allow pirates to avoid needless expenditures of ammunition and personal risk without a significant probability of success.
Continued Vigilance and the use of BMP:
Merchant vessels are advised to remain vigilant throughout the HRA and ensure that Self Protection Measures are implemented as recommended in BMP4. Prudent and timely implementation of all recommended actions and ship hardening measures in BMP4 can make the critical difference of being approached, attacked, or pirated. NSC would like to remind masters that BMP4 highly recommends maintaining best possible vessel speed when transiting the HRA to deter pirate boardings.
Registration & Incident Reporting:
As per Section 5 of BMP4, early registration with MSCHOA before entering the HRA and initial and regular reporting to UKMTO are highly recommended to ensure military authorities are aware of a vessel’s passage and vulnerabilities.
It has been observed that some Masters are choosing to phone their Company Security Officer (CSO) first in the event of a piracy incident. However, one of the fundamental requirements of BMP4 is that UKMTO is the primary point of contact for merchant vessels during piracy incidents in the HRA.
This aims to avoid unnecessary delay and prevent inaccurate or incomplete information from reaching military commanders. CSOs should ensure their ships’ security plans reinforce the BMP4 recommendation that UKMTO be immediately telephoned at +971 50 55 23215 in the event of any piracy activity. UKMTO will then make it a priority to contact the CSO with any information received whilst ensuring the relevant information reaches the military commanders without delay.
Masters should provide as much accurate information as possible. This will ensure the incident can be fully assessed and information is quickly provided to other ships in the area for their awareness and vigilance.
Masters should provide as much information as possible about the incident. If Masters are able to take pictures and/or video of the suspicious activity safely, please provide these via email to UKMTO at, NATO Shipping Centre (NSC) at or MSCHOA at This information will be used by Counter Piracy forces. Pictures supplied from an attack on a merchant vessel have previously led to the rapid release of a pirated dhow.
Source: NATO Shipping Centre



By Peter Maina (MICS), Shipping & Logistics Professional, Trainer: Mombasa, Kenya: 04/05/2013.

The law of general average is a legal principle of maritime law applied by shipping lines and ship owners in solving maritime accidents which are deemed to have been deliberate encountered with intention of saving the adventure from incurring a total peril.

According to law of general average, all parties in a sea adventure proportionally share any losses resulting from a voluntary sacrifice of part of the ship or cargo incurred deliberately to save the whole adventure in an event of emergency that was likely to result to a total loss.

In the event of a danger faced at sea, crew members often have precious little time in which to determine precisely whose cargo they are jettisoning ie. to be thrown overboard. Thus, to avoid quarrelling that could waste valuable time, there arose the equitable practice whereby all the merchants whose cargo landed safely would be called on to contribute a portion, based upon a share or percentage, to the merchant or consignee whose goods had been thrown overboard to avoid possible total loss.

For example, a ship arriving at the port of Mombasa may face a risk of sinking while approaching the port. If the shipmaster and the crews realize the ship is about to sink due to much weight, they may decide to throw some containers overboard to save the ship from sinking. If they fail to do so, it means the whole ship would sink and all the goods will be lost including the ship, the containers and any other machinery onboard. Thus some cargo will be thrown overboard and the ship becomes safe. In this case, then it is only good for those who benefited to share the loss with those whose cargo was sacrificed to save the adventure. This is what brings about the concept of general average.  

General average traces its origins in ancient maritime law but it remains part of the admiralty law of most countries.

It is effect as per the York Antwerp rules

Usually on arriving at a port of discharge the shipmaster appears before a magistrate or notary public declaring that during the course of the voyage, there occurred an event which led to an extra ordinary sacrifice being made to save the voyage from a total loss.

Extracts from ship logbook are used as evidence. The ship logbook is a booklet containing a record of all events and occurrences on board the ship throughout the voyage and port stays.

For general average to be declared, the following conditions must be clear:

1.      There must be a common danger / or risk

2.      The risk must be real

3.      It must be endangering the risk of all cargoes and not one individual

4.      The loss must have been incurred in effort to save adventure from a total loss

5.      The effort must have been successful

When general average occurs, the losses are shared proportionately by all interested parties who include:

1.      Owners of cargoes – shippers

2.      Charterers

3.      Ship owner

4.      Owners of leased in containers

5.      Owners of hired / leased cargo handling equipments on board at the times

The losses are evaluated and calculated by Average adjusters who are specialists in General average. General average adjusters are special ship / valuation companies who specialize is evaluation the value of loss incurred, its magnitude and also determine each party’s contribution.  

Several conditions and requirements are set by ship owners for his agent to follow before release of cargo as adjusters proceed with evaluation process. It should be noted that a port / shipping agent is relied upon by all parties to ensure general average contributions are received before release of cargo.

To obtain cargo, consignee through his clearing agent must fulfill or submit the / part of the following documents:

-          General average claim form

-          General average valuation form.

-          Bank guarantee / Letter of indemnity

-          Cash deposit if required
The port agent is required to demonstrate his expertise while administering general average by:

-          Professionally advising the consignee and their clearing agents on what is general average, how its incurred and why the costs have to be shared.

-          To keep the clearing agents and the consignees fully informed about position of the ship, cargo and process of general average.

-          To keep all parties informed and to communicate with them on the requirements, contributions and any other details arising.

-          To supervise his staff on the general average procedures so that they can act effectively
The agent earns as a result of his expertise the following:

-          Special fees for executing general average on behalf of interested parties

-          Communication fees / allowances

-          Overtimes for extra hours worked by him and his staff while executing general average


There have been so many disputes between interested parties on certain circumstances whether they qualify as general average or not. Most people argue that ship owners have attempted to protect themselves from certain expenses by declaring certain events as general average. This has been a source of many maritime legal battles and which continue to be addressed. This cases include:

-          Cases of piracy and hijacking of the ship

-          Deviation of the ship to proceed for repairs

-          Collision of the ship
Question on whether above and others not listed qualify as general average has been at discretion of the courts of law. Many people however argue that most lawyers and judges lack understanding on maritime issues and hence amicable judgments are not arrived at.

I trust for find the write resourceful and helpful to your career and exams. I also trust you can judge circumstance to qualify if they are general average or not.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

House Bill of Lading HBL and Master Bill of Lading MBL

House Bill of Lading HBL and Master Bill of Lading MBL
A bill of lading issued by a freight forwarder or NVOCC (Non vessel operating companies) or groupage operator is known as a HBL ie. House Bill of Lading. Once after receiving cargo from shipper after necessary customs formalities, the freight forwarder releases House Bill of Lading HBL to the shipper. House Bill of Lading also is a negotiable document and accepted similar to MBL Master Bill of Lading. Normally HBL House Bill of Lading is issued as per the terms and conditions of Multi modal Transport Document Act. The shipper in House Bill of Lading is the exporter or shipper who delivers goods to freight forwarder and the importer or consignee, the party to whom the cargo has to be delivered by the said freight forwarder.

The freight forwarder after receiving goods from shipper, re-book the same cargo to main carriers who are vessel owners. The main carriers, once cargo received, issues Bill of Lading to whom the cargo booked with him. This is called MBL - Master Bill of Lading. In a master bill of lading, the shipper will be the freight forwarder who delivers the cargo to main carrier and the consignee, the overseas counterpart party of the freight forwarder who receives the goods from final shipper.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


"Hi all


Rewarding and premium sea careers available. Marine Engineering and Nautical. Just to update you that after a successful work by Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) to get Kenya approved by the International Maritime Organisation (KMA) as a seafarers training nation, marine seafaring courses are now available at Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture (JKUAT). Interested students can talk to these universities directly or visit/enquire from KMA ( for more details


Silvester M. Kututa



Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

Eastern Africa Branch (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti)"

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

WAR ON PIRACY: Panama Maritime Authority Approves AdvanFort Counter-Piracy Operations

Pirates may have to face the musics as

Panama Maritime Authority Approves AdvanFort Counter-Piracy Operations

The AdvanFort Company, a world leader in providing comprehensive maritime security solutions for the commercial shipping industry, was officially approved last week by the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) to conduct counter-piracy operations aboard vessels flying the Panama flag.

"We at AdvanFort are very pleased that the world's largest flag state has vetted our company and approved our highly-trained operators to protect their ships from piracy attack," said Captain William H. Watson, president of AdvanFort.

"I want to personally thank Alfonso Castillero, Panama's General Director of the Merchant Marine, for the professional manner in which this approval was handled."
To facilitate the process, Mr. Watson travelled to Panama to meet with Mr. Castillero and with Mrs. Nyxkhari Ardilla, of the PMA's Maritime Ships Security Department.
The Resolution (Number 106-26-DGMM) is dated 4 February 2013 and was later signed by the general director, following an extensive review by the PMA's Technical Committee and Legal Department.
The Republic of Panama is the largest ship registry in the world, with more than 5,700 ships flying the Panamanian flag.
AdvanFort recently emphasized its continuing dedication to quality management by announcing that it is currently undergoing International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 certification.
In addition, this week a number of AdvanFort vessel security officers are participating in a first-ever counter-piracy training program for corporations working in the merchant marine environment.
Offered by the National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy and supported by the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS), the NMLEA's efforts are a big step forward in meeting growing international demands for standardizing (and professionalizing) counter-piracy security teams around the world.

The new NMLEA and MITAGS training program teaches those "best practices" that have been identified to date, with a special emphasis on the effective integration of security forces with vessel captains and crews.

Robert M. Wells, NMLEA director of training, pointed to the company's leading role in the private maritime security world, singling out the fact that the company was just last week officially approved by the Panama Maritime Authority.

"The program," Wells said, "is designed to assist companies like AdvanFort to maintain and highlight their highest level of professional security officers possible."
Source: AdvanFort Company

DNV, PSE Report on Carbon Capture & Storage

DNV, PSE Report on Carbon Capture & Storage

Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a leading classification society, and Process Systems Enterprise Ltd. (PSE), a global provider of advanced process modelling technology, today have released the results of the Maritime CCS (carbon capture and storage) research and development project. The project has successfully developed a concept design for on-board chemical CO2 capture.
The system consists of a chemical absorption plant that separates CO2 from flue gases, a liquefaction unit where the captured CO2 is compressed and condensed using a refrigerant and two storage tanks where the liquid CO2 product is temporarily stored until discharge into transmission and storage infrastructures at the next suitable port. The results show that the concept is technically feasible and capable of reducing ship CO2 emissions by up to 65%. For a VLCC tanker, this could correspond to capturing more than 70,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, transforming them from emissions to a tradable product.

“In response to more stringent environmental regulations and complex market conditions, we see an increased demand for innovative solutions towards higher efficiency and greener operations,” says Dr. Nikolaos Kakalis, Head of DNV Research & Innovation Greece. “Our R&D activities, such as the carbon capture initiative which is completely new in the field of maritime transportation, pave the future towards next-generation solutions for achieving more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable maritime transportation”.

Prof. Costas Pantelides, Managing Director of PSE, says “This has been a challenging design problem with tight constraints. Applying a model-based engineering approach has been key to exploring the process decision space rapidly and effectively, and developing technically feasible and economically viable solutions.”

Maritime CO2 emissions are estimated at over 1000 million tonnes per year, or 3% of total emissions, and are expected to reach 2000 to 3000m tonnes by 2050. The UK government has included maritime emissions in the reduction targets set by the Climate Change Bill, and the International Maritime Organisation is expected to drive a reduction in emissions from international shipping. Because ship emissions are concentrated – unlike other forms of transport – the potential to capture CO2 at source has been the key focus of the project.

The Maritime CCS project was jointly financed by the two partners, the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and the Research Council of Norway under the EUROSTARS initiative. The project took into account the unique challenges posed by the maritime environment – constant movement, limited space and access to utilities, stringent safety requirements and the need for energy efficiency.
Source: DNV


Any person who's been following union activities in their own countries and throughout the world will bear witness this organizations are very strong and tends to influence way things are done in areas of involvement. The international labour organization is the pioneer of workers rights and its related to many trade unions worldwide. One such organization which has had a big impact in shipping industry is ITF- International Transport workers Federation. Below is a write up and some of its developments:

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is a global union federation of transport workers' trade unions, founded in 1896.

The ITF's headquarters is located in London and it has offices in Amman, Brussels, Georgetown (Guyana), Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, Ouagadougou, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

In 2009 the ITF had 654 member organizations in 148 countries, representing a combined membership of 4.5 million workers worldwide.

The ITF is allied with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
Any independent trade union with members in the transport industry is eligible for membership of the organization.

The ITF represents the interests of transport workers' unions in bodies such as:
-           The International Labour Organization (ILO),

-           The International Maritime Organization (IMO)

-          The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The organization also:
-           Informs and advises unions about developments in the transport industry in other countries or regions of the world,

-          Organize international solidarity actions when member unions in one country are in conflict with employers or government.
The ITF executive is highly concerned about:

-          The effects of globalization,

-          The increased concentration of ownership of international transport companies,

-          Global warming,

-          Public service improvement

-          The privatization of large formerly state-run transport enterprises.
It notes that the World Trade Organization (WTO) plays a central role in this process and considers it necessary for unions to exert what pressure they can on the WTO to respect social and labour standards in its agreements.

It is particularly concerned about the effect that the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) could have on transport workers by breaking down national transport regulations.

It considers it important to oppose the inclusion of transport-related services in the GATS. It considers that the major international finance organizations, including the World Bank and regional development banks, have had a "serious negative impact both on the quality of transport services and on the employment and working conditions of transport workers."

It also sees the neoliberal economic policies being promoted by regional blocks including the EU, MERCOSUR, ASEAN, NAFTA, and SADC as being generally injurious to transport workers.

It believes it is necessary to create solidarity networks between trade unions, and to improve the coordination between ITF sections, so that effective responses can be made to large multinational business entities which span several regions and many sectors of workers.

The ITF holds a congress every four years in accordance with the ITF Constitution, Rule IV. The congress has supreme authority within the ITF.
Global Mariner history

In the late 1990s, the ITF operated a floating museum, the mV Global Mariner, which sailed around the world to promote awareness of flags of convenience and slave-like conditions at sea.
 The vessel was originally built in England in 1979 as the mV Ruddbank, and sank in 2000 off the Venezuelan coast after colliding with a container ship.


Many individual still confuses ship registration with ship classification. It becomes even confusing where some international ship registers offer the services of classification as well as ship registration. Below write up will help clearly understand classification societies together with their role in shipping:


A classification society is a Non-governmental organization that establishes and maintains technical standards for the construction and operation of Ships and offshore structures.

The society is also responsible for certification and validating that construction is according to set standards and carries out regular surveys to ensure compliance with the standards. 

Classification surveyors inspect ships to make sure that the ship, its components and machinery are built and maintained according to the standards required for their particular class

The best know class of ship to this day is class 100A1 

Today a ship either meets the relevant class society’s rules or it does not.  

To avoid liability, classification societies explicitly take no responsibility for the safety, fitness for purpose, or seaworthiness of the ship. In other words, classification societies do not issue statements or certifications that a vessel is 'fit to sail' or 'unfit to sail', but qualify that the vessel is in compliance with the required codes. This is in part related to legal liability of the classification society. 

·         Classification societies set technical rules for vessel construction
·         Confirm that designs and calculations meet these rules,
·         Survey ships and structures during the process of construction and commissioning, and
·         Periodically survey vessels to ensure that they continue to meet the rules.
·         They are responsible for classing oil platforms, other offshore structures, and submarines. This survey process covers diesel engines, important shipboard pumps and other vital machinery.

·         They employ ship surveyors, material engineers, piping engineers, mechanical engineers, chemical engineers and electrical engineers, often located at ports and office buildings around the world.

·         The larger societies also conduct research at their own research facilities in order to improve the effectiveness of their rules and to investigate the safety of new innovations in shipbuilding.


The advent of open registers, or flags of convenience who also had interest in ship classification, led to competition between classification societies and to a relaxation of their standards.

They have lower standards for vessel, equipment, and crew than traditional maritime countries and often have classification societies certify and inspect the vessels in their registry, instead of by their own shipping authority.

This made it attractive for ship owners to change flag, whereby the ship lost the economic link and the country of registry. This made it easier to change class and introduced a new phenomenon; class hopping.

A ship owner that is dissatisfied with class can change to a different class relatively easily. This has led to more competition between classes and a relaxation of the standards.

This has led to the shipping industry losing confidence in the classification societies

The major classification Societies quickly came together and formed the international association of classification society. This association came up with guidelines, procedures, rules and policies to govern the classification of ships. This included establishment of TOCA (Transfer of Class Agreement). This provided guidelines that were to be adhered to for change of class.


Today there are more than 50 classification societies, the most known of which are:

1.        Det Norske Veritas (DNV)

2.       Lloyd's Register  (LR)

3.       Bureau Veritas (BV)

4.       Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK)

5.       American Bureau of Shipping (AB)

6.       Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)

7.       Germanischer Lloyd (GL)

8.       China Classification Society (CSS)

9.       Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS)

10.    Korean Register of Shipping (KRS)



International Maritime Bureau
The ICC- International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is a specialised division of the International Chamber Of Commerce (ICC).
The IMB is a non-profit making organisation, established in 1981 to act as a focal point in the fight against all types of maritime crime and malpractice.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in it’s resolution A 504 (XII) (5) and (9) adopted on 20 November 1981, has inter alia, urged governments, all interests and organisations to cooperate and exchange information with each other and the IMB with a view to maintaining and developing a co-ordinated action in combating maritime fraud.
The IMB has a MOU with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and has observer status with Interpol (ICPO).
IMB’s main task is to protect the integrity of international trade by seeking out fraud and malpractice. For over 25 years, it has used industry knowledge, experience and access to a large number of well-placed contacts around the world to do this: identifying and investigating frauds, spotting new criminal methods and trends, and highlighting other threats to trade.
The information gathered from sources and during investigations is provided to members in the form of timely advice via a number of different communication routes.
It lists the threats and explains how members can reduce their vulnerability to them.

Over the years, this approach has thwarted many attempted frauds and saved the shipping and trading industry many millions of dollars.

The IMB provides an authentication service for trade finance documentation. It also investigates and reports on a number of other topics, notably documentary credit fraud, charter party fraud, cargo theft, ship deviation and ship finance fraud.
As well as helping to prevent crime, the IMB also has a duty to educate both the shipping community and a wider audience that comprises just about every entity engaged in trade. To this end, the IMB runs a regular series of courses and training programmes that have a wide-ranging syllabus and many proven benefits. It also offers bespoke consultancy services in areas such as ship and port security.

One of the IMB’s principal areas of expertise is in the suppression of piracy. Concerned at the alarming growth in the phenomenon, this led to the creation of the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in 1992.

The Centre is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It maintains a round-the-clock watch on the world’s shipping lanes, reporting pirate attacks to local law enforcement and issuing warnings about piracy hotspots to shipping.

With its multi-lingual and multi-disciplined staff, experience, unique structure, industry support and well-placed contacts, the IMB can rightly claim to be the world’s premier independent crime-fighting watchdog for international trade.