International Maritime Bureau News

09 Apr 2019

Piracy Retreating in Q1 2019

Image: International Chamber of Commerce

The International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) published its report for the first three months of 2019, reporting less incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships than the first quarter of 2018.During the first quarter of 2019, IMB reported 38 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea, which are 28 less incidents than the first quarter of 2018, which stood at 66.IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre detailed that 27 vessels were boarded, seven vessels were fired upon and four attempted attacks occurred in the first quarter of 2019.

15 Feb 2019

IMB to Tackle Bills of Lading Fraud

Pic: ICC-CCS

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) announced that it has launched a new initiative aiming to mitigate bills of lading (B/L) fraud conducted by non-vessel owning common carriers (NVOCCs).The IMB NVOCC Register provides a business solution to a business problem impacting parties involved in international shipping and trade.B/Ls are crucial documents relied upon by many stakeholders in the trading chain including banks, shipping companies, carriers and charterers.IMB - which conducts B/L checks for its members - says while the vast majority of NVOCCs issue B/Ls correctly…

22 Jan 2019

BIMCO Calls for Global Co-operation to Counter Piracy

Pic: BIMCO

Turning the tide of piracy and attacks is not a difficult operation in terms of military and law enforcement, according to Jakob P. Larsen, BIMCO Head of Maritime Security. The will to act and get both local and international involvement and cooperation on the other hand, may be.“To be honest, unless we see international naval support and close cooperation between international navies and local law enforcement, I doubt that we will see the numbers go down in any significant way…

17 Jan 2019

Global Piracy Up in 2018, Gulf of Guinea Leads

Pic:  International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB)

Piracy increased on the world’s seas in 2018, with a marked rise in attacks against ships and crews around West Africa, the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest annual piracy report reveals.Worldwide, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017.The Gulf of Guinea remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers. Reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo more than doubled in 2018…

11 Jan 2019

Crew Travel: Safety & Security in Shipping

Despite notable breakthroughs in technology and an overdue increase in conversations regarding safety at sea, the very nature of the marine industry means that risk is inevitable.Piracy remains a prominent concern in certain regions, for example, around the Gulf of Aden. According to statistical data provided by ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) , 107 ships were hijacked or were subject to attempted attacks by pirates between January-June 2018. This figure has risen by 20 per cent in comparison to data collected in 2017 and only further highlights the need for adequate safety measures. Even if your organizations’ activities aren’t near to one of the affected regions…

05 Dec 2018

Unfair Reporting on Piracy, Says Nigeria

Dr. Dakuku Peterside. Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. Photo: NIMASA

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has called on the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) to ensure fairness and balance in its reportage of piracy issues on Nigeria’s territorial waters.Dakuku regretted what he called the exaggeration of reports on incidences on the country’s waterways by the IMB, a specialised department of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) dedicated to fighting maritime crime and malpractice.The DG noted that the Agency had put mechanisms in place to reduce piracy to the barest minimum.

24 Aug 2018

Missing Tanker Docks in Togo after Suspected Hijacking

© F. Ybancos / MarineTraffic.com

A tanker with 19 crew members on board has docked at a port in Togo after going missing for over a week in a suspected hijacking off the West African coast, the crew's agency said on Friday.The Ialkani agency and the ship's managers lost communication with the Panama-registered Pantelena on August 14, when it was about 17 miles (27 km) from the port of Libreville, in Gabon.Two Russian nationals and 17 Georgians were aboard the vessel, a dual purpose oil or chemicals tanker managed by Athens-based Lotus Shipping.

23 Aug 2018

Tanker with 19 Crew Missing in Piracy-Plagued West African Waters

© John White / MarineTraffic.com

A tanker vessel with 19 crew members on board, most of them Georgians, has gone missing in pirate-plagued waters off Gabon in West Africa and no word has been heard from it for a week, the ship's managers and the crew agency said on Wednesday.Communication was lost with the Panama-registered Pantelena at about 2 a.m. local time on Aug. 14, at which time it was about 17 miles from the port of Libreville, in Gabon, Athens-based Lotus Shipping said in a statement.The head of the Georgian crew agency Ialkani, Anzhela Oganesyan, said two Russian nationals and 17 Georgians were aboard the tanker.

25 Jul 2018

Piracy Risk Persists in Gulf of Guinea -Report

© xmagics / Adobe Stock

The second quarterly report from the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) shows that all 2018 crew kidnappings have so far occurred in the Gulf of Guinea in six separate incidents.A total of 107 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first six months of 2018. In total, 69 vessels were boarded, with 23 attempted attacks, 11 vessels fired upon and four vessels hijacked. No vessels were reported as hijacked in the second quarter.The number of crewmembers…

10 Apr 2018

Pirate Attacks Worsen in Gulf of Guinea - IMB

Photo courtesy ICC

A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warns the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB's Piracy Reporting Center recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016. Worldwide in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.

23 Feb 2018

Pirates Attack Chemical Tanker off Somalia

Picture courtesy of http://www.shipspotting.com and lk.lv/en/lsc-shipmanagement/EU Navfor

Suspected Somali pirates attacked a Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker on Friday but were repelled by guards on board, the European Union's Naval force said, the first such incident in several months. EU Navfor said in a statement the 50,000 metric tonne MT Leopard Sun was sailing from Sohar in Oman to Cape Town, South Africa, when it was attacked by two skiffs 160 nautical miles (295 km) off the coast of Somalia. "The skiffs approached from the stern and fired upon her, after which the on-board Private Armed Security Team returned fire with warning shots," EU Navfor said.

06 Feb 2018

Pirates Free Tanker, Crew in Gulf of Guinea

Pirates freed a ship carrying 22 Indian crew and 13,500 tonnes of gasoline on Tuesday, Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern, which was managing the ship, said in a statement. "All crew members are reported to be safe and well and the cargo remains on board," the company said. The Marine Express tanker was missing in the Gulf of Guinea after contact was lost in Benin on Friday. The Gulf of Guinea has become an increasing target for pirates who steal cargo and demand ransoms, even as piracy incidents fall worldwide, experts say. Ships in the area were the target of a series of piracy-related incidents last year, according to a January report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which highlighted the waters off West Africa as an area of growing concern.

05 Feb 2018

Oil Tanker with 22 Crew Missing in Gulf of Guinea

A ship carrying 22 Indian crew and 13,500 tons of gasoline is missing in the Gulf of Guinea after contact was lost in Benin on Friday, the company and India's minister of external affairs said on Sunday. The Gulf of Guinea has become an increasing target for pirates who steal cargo and demand ransoms, even as piracy incidents fall worldwide, experts say. The Marine Express tanker, managed by Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern, was last see in Benin's waters at 3:30 a.m. GMT on Friday after which contact was lost, an Anglo Eastern spokesman told Reuters. The cause of the loss of communication was unknown and a search was underway, conducted with help from Nigerian and Beninese authorities, Anglo-Eastern said.

10 Jan 2018

Maritime Piracy Activity is at a 22-year Low -Report

In March 2017 fuel tanker Aris 13 was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

Global maritime piracy activity fell to its lowest level in over two decades, according to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report. The 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported to the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) IMB in 2017 was the lowest annual number since 1995, when 188 incidents were reported. According to the IMB, pirates boarded 136 vessels in 2017, while 22 attacks were attempted, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked.

18 Oct 2017

Pirate Attacks Still a Major Concern -Sailors’ Society

Sailors’ Society’s CEO Stuart Rivers (Photo: Sailors' Society)

Global piracy continues to be a concern in the Gulf of Guinea, Southeast Asia and Venezuela, according to statistics released yesterday by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB). In the first nine months of 2017, 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported, including 92 vessels boarded with five hijackings, 11 attempted attacks and 13 vessels fired upon. While this is a decrease compared to statistics from the same period in 2016…

17 Oct 2017

Global Piracy Declines in First Nine Months of 2017

Graphics: International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Maritime Bureau's (IMB)

A total of 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in the first nine months of 2017, according to the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) latest quarterly report on maritime piracy. The flagship global report notes that, while piracy rates were down compared to the same period in 2016, there is continuing concern over attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and in South East Asia. The increase in attacks off the coast…

30 Jun 2017

Piracy Situation Serious in Gulf of Guinea

Photo: European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA)

European shipowners are concerned about the continued piracy, armed robbery attacks and kidnapping for ransom events in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), and particularly off Nigeria. According to the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy report in total 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017 worldwide. During the same period, of the 27 seafarers kidnapped for ransom, 63% were in the Gulf of Guinea. In its Global Maritime Security Conclusions adopted 19 June, the Environment Council recognised the problematic situation in the Gulf of Guinea.

13 Jun 2017

Shipping’s ‘Perfect Storm’ is Brewing -Allianz

© Tim Mueller-Zitzke / Adobe Stock

Large shipping losses have declined by 50 percent over the past decade, mostly driven by the development of a more robust safety environment by ship owners, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) fifth annual Safety & Shipping Review 2017. In 2016 there were 85 total shipping losses reported, down 16 percent from 101 a year earlier. The number of shipping incidents declined slightly year-on-year by 4 percent with 2,611 reported, according to the review, which analyzes reported shipping losses over 100 gross tons.

24 May 2017

Piracy Comes Back in Somalia

Photo: UK Chamber of Shipping

Piracy in Somalia is making a comeback and the Gulf of Guinea remains the world’s most active hotspot for crew kidnappings,  UK Chamber of Shipping said quoting latest data. The report said that during the first three months of 2017, armed pirates hijacked two vessels off the coast of Somalia, an area in which previously no merchant ship had been hijacked for five years. Four further incidents in the region were also attempted this past quarter, according to the latest report from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC).

23 May 2017

Somali Pirates Hijack Iranian Fishing Vessel

Somali pirates hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel on Tuesday to use as a base to attack bigger, more valuable ships, the mayor of a Somali town said, part of an upsurge in attacks following years of relative calm. Crews have let security procedures slip in recent years and travel far closer to pirate-infested shores than authorities recommend, shipping sources say. The pirate gangs launch small, fast skiffs from bases on shore to try hijack vessels. "A group of Somali pirates captured an Iranian fishing vessel and are using it as a mother ship in order to hijack (other) ships," Ali Shire, the mayor of Haabo in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, told Reuters. "The Iranian fishing vessel does not have a licence (to fish) in Puntland," he added.

05 May 2017

China Transfers Three Pirates to Somali Authorities

OS35 (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A Chinese navy ship handed over three suspected pirates to Somali authorities on Friday, police said, underscoring the determination of international naval forces to stamp out a resurgence of piracy this year. The pirates were involved in the attempted hijacking in April of the OS35, a Tuvalu-flagged cargo ship that was rescued by the Chinese navy after the crew sent a distress call. "A Chinese navy ship handed over three pirates to Puntland today," said Ahmed Saiid, the deputy director of maritime police forces in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland.

04 May 2017

Maritime Piracy on the Rise -Report

In March fuel tanker Aris 13 was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

Pirates and armed robbers attacked 43 ships and captured 58 seafarers in the first quarter of 2017, slightly more than the same period last year, according to the latest ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy report. The global report highlights persisting violence in piracy hotspots off Nigeria and around the Southern Philippines – where two crew members were killed in February. Indonesia also reported frequent incidents, mostly low-level thefts from anchored vessels. In total, 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017.

10 Apr 2017

India, China Navies Thwart Somali Pirate Attack

A Chinese navy ship supported by an Indian navy helicopter thwarted an attack by suspected Somali pirates on a Tuvalu-flagged merchant ship, India's defence ministry said on Sunday. The ship, known as OS 35, was reported to be under attack on Saturday. The Indian defence ministry said four of its navy ships in the vicinity responded to a distress signal from the ship and reached the bulk carrier early on Sunday. It said the crew had taken refuge in the ship's strong room, known as the citadel, once they learnt they were under attack in line with established safe shipping operating procedures. "An Indian Navy helicopter undertook aerial reconnaissance of the merchant vessel at night, and at sunrise ...

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