INTERTANKO’s Documentary Committee provided valuable input to the work done by BIMCO on a standard contract for Private Armed Guards (GUARDCON). The Committee much appreciated the opportunity to comment on the early GUARDCON drafts and has been watching the development and use of GUARDCON with interest.
GUARDCON has now been in use for some months. During this time the Documentary Committee has reviewed the GUARDCON wording and, as the use of private armed guards has proliferated, has considered it against a backdrop of other contracts for the use of private armed guards. The Committee found that private armed guard contracts vary in content and standard, with some being unclear and/or unfavourable to owners. In some, legal rights and obligations of the parties are ill-defined.
At the second Documentary Committee meeting of 2012, which took place in London on 12 September under the chairmanship of David Chapman of OSG Tankers UK Ltd, the Committee, on behalf of INTERTANKO, has therefore now endorsed GUARDCON as a model contract for use by shipowners who engage private armed guards.
BIMCO’s Chief Officer for Legal and Contractual Affairs, Grant Hunter, said “We are delighted that INTERTANKO’s Documentary Committee has given its official endorsement of GUARDCON as a model contract for the employment by owners of maritime security guards. INTERTANKO’s support will certainly help keep GUARDCON foremost in the minds of tanker operators when engaging on board security teams.”
“We are pleased to support BIMCO’s dedicated work on the GUARDCON contract and associated guidance on Rules for the Use of Force, ” said INTERTANKO’s General Counsel Michele White. “Having such a model contract makes the business of selecting and contracting quality private security providers easier for our Members, and will increase the safety of our seafarers who sail into dangerous areas.”
It is hoped that with INTERTANKO support, GUARDCON can continue its move towards becoming an industry standard.