Shipmaster's Security Manual

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*NEW CHAPTER FOR 2022* Armed Conflict and War

Updates on conflicts between different actors including state as well as non-state. In recent years the state of conflict between Iran/Iranian proxies and US/UK/Israeli interests, and recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have seen more and more cases where weapons of war have been directed against commercial ships

Piracy and Armed Robbery

Focusing on the Gulf of Guinea where Niger Delta pirates remain the primary piracy threat in the world, the chapter also covers Southeast Asia and off Somalia. BIMCO has been at the forefront of helping the maritime industry mitigate the risks. The use of SEVs has become more and more the norm in the Gulf of Guinea. Their use entails commercial risks which should be managed by using BIMCO's recently-launched SEV-GUARDCON (a copy of which is included in this edition of the manual)

Cyber Security

Onboard risk management and the interface with shore. While the industry has not yet seen cyber security incidents with major safety implications, the cyber threats are continually developing and the increased sophistication of criminals requires cyber risk management to be kept up to date

Drug Smuggling

This is an increasing threat to shipowners and crew. Smugglers, typically in South and Central America, use the ships as “mules” by concealing drugs on board or even welding containers to the underwater hull. In cases where drugs are found on board, some port States react forcefully and detain ships and crew for prolonged periods despite lack of evidence to suggest shipowner or crew involvement

The ISPS Code

The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) is the cornerstone document for managing risks from terrorists to ships and port facilities and furthermore subject to several audits and compliance checks


Stowaways continue to present a big risk to shipping operations because of the administrative and practical burdens and not least costs associated with resolving cases. In some cases, stowaways even represent a security threat to the crew on board

Mass Mixed Migration by Sea

Mass mixed migration by sea continues to disrupt the operation of ships and in some cases develops into a humanitarian crisis on board with owners and crew caught in a limbo between state migration politics of coastal and flag states

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