The Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) believes that a new international standard for armed guards on ships can deliver much required reassurance for the shipping industry, but there is an urgent need for support and acceptance from ship owners and flag States.
That was the message from the speakers and audience at the “ISO/PAS 28007: Lessons Learned” seminar hosted by SAMI onboard its headquarters vessel “HQS Wellington” in London.
The journey towards a single standard has not been a straightforward one but massive strides have been made, and the recent seminar in London stood as a catalyst for dialogue and engagement. It also provided vital guidance for those relying on the Standard as an indicator of quality and a marker of excellence.
Primarily it delivered an opportunity for those who have developed the standard and those auditing and certifying against it, to explain the intricacies of the process and to share their experiences.
SAMI CEO Peter Cooks says, “Perhaps the single most important factor shaping the acceptance of any Standard is the response of clients to it, and we hope it can be used and respected by all”. He added, “The question hinges on three possible outcomes; will shipowners choose to demand their providers have ISO/PAS 28007? Or will they be compelled to use it, or will they simply ignore it and continue with an ad-hoc system of in-house vetting and word of mouth?”
It has long been agreed that shipping needs to have the ability to use the most effective security to fit the threats facing it, and so this international standard is a vital part of that development. There is still work to be done to unify maritime security providers, regulators and clients under this one standard – equally known, valued and applied by all. SAMI believes that process must begin now, and be rapidly addressed.
Ultimately such moves towards standardisation have been about simplifying and streamlining the process, to facilitate flag State confidence and to minimise the need for their own singular requirements.
ISO/PAS 28007 allows governments control of critical functions, it is a platform for all
stakeholders and allows for independent third party certification – providing vital
reassurance to clients that the Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSCs) that
are certified by an accredited certifying body have undergone comprehensive
It was stressed by SAMI, that we have not reached the end of the maritime security
standards evolution, but is perhaps the end of the beginning. Peter Cook, stated,
“The maritime security industry is very young, it’s very dynamic, and this standard
has got to be something we can adapt and take forward, whether it’s talking about
floating armouries, West Africa, South China Seas or whatever else arises.”
It has been stated that ISO/PAS 28007 is the quickest ever standard to reach the
publicly available specification stage. Much of this rapid progress has been based on
the groundwork performed by the maritime security industry, and their willingness to
embrace standardisation. It is to be hoped that this is reflected by their clients and
The Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI)
SAMI provides an international independent non-governmental organization for the
maritime security industry and a focal point for global maritime security matters.
The SAMI membership is made up of international maritime security companies from
over 35 different nations, as well as equipment, technology and hardware providers
exploring technical maritime security solutions. www.seasecurity.org
International Organization for Standardization/Publicly Available Specification
The process aims to provide certification using the full guidelines of ISO PAS 28007
which will ultimately classify a Private Maritime Security Company as providing
Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel.
The components of 28007 include: management of the security system; procedural
aspects (rules of authority, contractor selection, screening and vetting, authorising
licensing of firearms, prevention of incidents, incident management and emergency
response, investigation and reporting of incidents, procedures for detainment,
identification, interface with crew and familiarisation).