28 April 2023
This is the second Maritime Roundtable co-organised by ReCAAP ISC and RSIS to discuss issues relating to the reporting of Piracy and Sea Robbery Incidents
Senior representatives from the shipping industry, law enforcement agencies, international organisations and academia participated in the second ReCAAP ISC-RSIS Maritime Roundtable yesterday, held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week 2023. Participants had a robust deliberation on the topic of “Criticality of Timely and Accurate Reporting – Assessment.”
In the first roundtable held in 2018, the law enforcement agencies had given feedback that the lack of timely and accurate incident reporting from the shipping community was a key factor inhibiting prompt response and the timely arrest of perpetrators. Delays in incident reporting by the ship masters have often resulted in slower responses by the maritime law enforcement agencies and perpetrators easily getting away.
The second ReCAAP ISC-RSIS Maritime Roundtable provided a platform for participants to deliberate on factors which contribute to delayed and inaccurate incident reporting, and to evolve a way forward with proposed solutions.
The participants during the roundtable, raised several factors which contribute to delayed incident reporting. These include the theft of low value items, bureaucracy in reporting, lack of clarity over which authority to report the incident to, language barriers and communication issues between the ship master/crew and the coastal state law enforcement agency.
Mr Krishnaswamy Natarajan, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC and co-moderator of the roundtable, said that the multitude of agencies involved in maritime affairs in some countries has caused misconception among ship masters, who are unsure which agency they should report the incidents. Without access to timely and accurate incident reports, the law enforcement agencies of coastal state will find it challenging to make informed decisions regarding the allocation of available resources to combat piracy and sea robbery.”
After careful deliberation, roundtable participants came up with several recommendations to reduce the time delay in incident reporting, and to ensure accurate incident reporting. These include using a simplified template for incident reporting, fostering trust and cooperation among stakeholders and using technology to collect information.
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS and co-moderator of the roundtable, said “We had a very robust and constructive discussion today with all relevant stakeholders. It is important that we continue to come together, to collective manage the safety and security of our waters for our seafarers.”
Held under the Chatham House Rule, participants of the roundtable include senior representatives from (i) International and regional shipping associations such as the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA), BIMCO, INTERTANKO and Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), (ii) maritime regulatory and port authorities from India and Singapore; (iii) information sharing and enforcement agencies from the Philippine Coast Guard, Singapore Information Fusion Centre and Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla); and (iv) academia.
Last updated on 13/09/2023