Leading provider of private maritime security says it is training more than 100 operatives to meet new standards for German Flagged vessels.
Protection Vessels International (PVI), part of Protection Group International and the world’s leading provider of private maritime security services, said today that it welcomed new, tighter accreditation criteria for Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSCs) working on German-flagged vessels and that the changes would lead to increased professionalism.
PVI also announced that it is working with German maritime and legal experts to provide additional in-house training to more than 100 of its operatives in order to meet new standards being set by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), with compliance checks undertaken by the Bundespolizei.
Despite consternation amongst some PMSC’s that the changes to German law pertaining to maritime armed guards has been overly challenging, PVI said today that the company had found both the BAFA and Polizei Hamburg proactive and knowledgeable when providing direction and support during the accreditation process.
Eric Conway, managing director, PVI, commented: “PVI is one of the largest providers of armed security to the German marketplace, with the greatest operational footprint of any PMSC within high-risk areas. As such, PVI welcomes the tougher regulation and remains wholly committed to maintaining this position and protecting German-flagged vessels after the new legislation comes into force on 1 December of this year. Working with Marine Risk and Quality of Lampe & Schwartz Group to meet all of the criteria set out by the German authorities, PVI is already well advanced in the process to achieve accreditation and - despite criteria exceeding any existing regulation – rates will remain consistent.
“As well as providing shipowners, their crew and cargo owners with greater assurance when transiting high risk areas, accreditation such as this presents great opportunity to those who aspire to the very highest of standards and is only a risk to those unable to undertake the challenge. Accreditation that recognises and rewards professionalism, quality and excellence is to be applauded and embraced.”
As part of the new certification processes being instilled in Germany, training standards form a key area and include required knowledge and skills relevant to the German public, such as: civil and criminal laws, including width and limits of right of self-defence, crisis handling, de-escalation techniques and the secure handling of weapon and equipment.
Conway concluded: “The maritime security industry is rightly being continually asked to raise standards and PVI believes that this is central to securing the confidence of the shipping market. As such, we will continue to take a leading role in promoting regulation and high standards within the industry, which is why we are also one of only a handful of PMSC’s taking part in the ISO 28000 / 28007 accreditation process.”
Ranked third behind Japan and Greece in terms of total capacity, and number one in the container ship segment, Germany is one of the world’s most prominent shipping markets.