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Web alert: High Risk Area for piracy in Indian Ocean reduced in size

News & Insights 8 October 2015

In essence, the HRA no longer extends to waters off the Indian sub-continent.

Following an assessment of the threat posed by piracy, undertaken by a range of industry experts, it has been agreed that the High Risk Area (HRA) for BMP4 – defined as the area bounded by Suez and the Strait of Hormuz to the North, 10°S and 78°E – is to be reduced in size. In essence, the HRA no longer extends to waters off the Indian sub-continent. The changes will take effect on 1 December 2015.

The new HRA is as follows:
In the Red Sea: northern limit – latitude 15oN
In the Gulf of Oman: northern limit – latitude 22oN
Eastern limit: longitude 065oE
Southern limit: latitude 5oS

This map, created by NYA International, shows the previous and revised HRA zones:


The decision follows a reduction in the number of reported incidents of Somalian piracy in recent years. According to the latest report from the IMB, there have been no reported incidents of Somalian piracy in 2015 (the club is however aware of one unconfirmed report of the hijacking of a fishing vessel in March 2015), with only three reported attacks in 2014 and four in 2013.
As a result of the contraction of the HRA, Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy, version 4 (BMP4) will be amended accordingly, with changes taking effect from 1 December 2015. The area previously forming the HRA now forms part of the ‘Voluntary Reporting Area’.
It is important to note that the key parts of BMP4, including reporting requirements, pre-voyage risk assessments and suggested ship protection measures will continue unchanged. The club strongly recommends that members continue to comply with BMP4 in all affected areas.
Despite the contraction of the HRA, the club considers that the risk of piracy remains and recommends that members continue to exercise vigilance when trading to and through the affected regions.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with your usual club contact or the authors of this article.

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