P&I Club

Update Volume 2018/3 - Armed security guards on Dutch vessels

Published on 23 march 2018

On 13th March 2018 the Dutch House of Representatives approved the bill on the use of privately-contracted security personnel on board Dutch flagged commercial vessels. This change would provide for a cheaper and more flexible response against potential piracy risks when Vessels are sailing in high risk areas.

Armed security on Dutch ships

Hiring armed security guards would however be subject to certain conditions. First of all, a shipowner will first have to check whether a VPD (Vessel Protection Detachment) is available, and should this options prove unavailable or burdensome cost-wise, then a permission would be granted for private security. Secondly, the use of force would be limited to a deterrent function. Furthermore security guards should each wear a bodycam. Another 360-degree camera should be installed on board the vessel in order for any critical situation taking place on board to be verified by the Public Prosecutor. The security companies must be internationally certified and must have a Dutch license.
Currently, the law is with the Upper House for final approval.

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