Security Advisory: Piracy – Revision of BMP4 High Risk Area

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 9, 2015



BIMCO says that the co-sponsors of BMP 4 have agreed to a revised definition of the High Risk Area.

The High Risk Area is now defined as being bounded by:

In the Red Sea: Latitude 15oN
In the Gulf of Oman: Latitude 22oN
Eastern limit: Longitude 065oE
Southern limit: Latitude 5oS
The revisions are effective and will formally apply as of 1 December 2015, in order to give shipping companies and crews time to adapt to them.
It is strongly recommended that the revisions are taken into account as soon as possible for voyages through the VRA and HRA for which risk assessments are yet to be conducted, as the changes may have implications for charter party and insurance agreements as well as ship security.  The revisions will be provided on industry websites, including, as well as NATO Shipping Centre ( and MSCHOA (
It is not anticipated that there will be a need to publish a fully revised version of BMP 4 to incorporate these changes.  A Notice to Mariners will be sent today (8 October) advising of necessary changes to Admiralty Chart Q6099, and a new version of the chart will be made available before the entry into force of the revisions.
Whilst the revision re-designates the area considered to be at a high risk of Somalia-based pirate groups, it is stressed that these groups retain the ability to attack at historical limits of their activity.  
As such, the three pillars of BMP 4, namely registering at MSCHOA, reporting to UKMTO and implementing ship protection measures on the basis of a thorough risk assessment remain essential.  Any lowering of guard in the region is likely to present an opportunity for a resurgence of pirate activities. 
Therefore, along with the commitment to its own security responsibilities, the shipping industry remains fully supportive of continued military deployments on a counter-piracy mandate for so long as the threat of pirate action groups exists.
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