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Friday, October 19, 2018


An international conference in Tokyo 28th - 30th March adopted an Appeal regarding Piracy. The Conference gathered a large number of delegates representing governments in South East Asia, as well as representatives of shipping companies and international associations, including INTERTANKO.

The meeting could be described as a preparatory conference for another meeting in April, when it is envisaged that a Model Action plan to combat Piracy and armed robbery against ships would be adopted.

The Conference expressed its profound concern over the rising trend in the past several years in the number of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, in particular in Southeast Asian waters. Many of these seem well organised, and constitute an extremely grave threat to the lives of the crews and the safe operation of ships.

The Conference underlined the need to implement the relevant IMO recommendations regarding Piracy (MSC/Circ. 622 and 623), and expressed its appreciation for the work of the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB). States were encouraged to ratify and implement the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA)

The Conference also strongly emphasised the need for shipping companies to report incidents to the appropriate authorities so that States could crack down swiftly and effectively on such attacks.

Furthermore, shipping companies were urged to increase their preparedness to prevent piracy and armed robbery. Not only was strong vigilance required, but also proper ship security plans and training of crews. Use of firearms was strongly discouraged.

The participating governments acknowledged that a truly effective response could not be achieved without mutual coordination and cooperation among maritime police authorities and coast guard agencies in the region. Strengthened patrols and development of a legal framework to facilitate and enhance effective prosecution were also stressed.

A copy of the Tokyo Appeal can be obtained by contacting INTERTANKO’s Assistant Director, who participated in the conference, at: