Since the IMO allows for Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) on board of ships sailing through high risk areas (of piracy attacks), the Luxembourg government has been authorizing shipowners to hire Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) to protect their vessels from pirate attacks.
This has to be done in accordance to the existing legislative framework and in order to apply for such an authorisation, a request has to be sent to the Commissariat aux affaires maritimes either by the shipowner or by the accredited shipping manager in charge of the concerned vessel (only contacts confirmed by the shipowner or his representative in Luxembourg can be processed).
In order to allow for the administration to properly process the request, it needs to be received at least three working days prior to the planned mission.
The request form will mention the expected route and time frame for the mission (from embarkation of armed guard’s team to disembarkation) and several documents will have to be provided by the ship-owner or operator together with the request:
‐ copy of license of PMSC as security firm within the EU (PMSC that are not incorporated in the EU can unfortunately not be considered). This document is only requested for the first mission of any security firm;
‐ copy of the contract between the ship-owner or -operator and the PMSC;
‐ detailed list of armed personal (minimum 4 team members) with copies of passports, extracts of criminal records and CVs (all relevant documents should be assembled into one single file per agent);
‐ detailed list of weapons (with proof of ownership/license) for which the carrying license is to be issued.
A license to carry weapons for personal will be issued by the Luxembourg authorities.
It is important to note that for first time service providers (PMSCs), an advance notice of 2 to 3 weeks should be allowed for.
OMI Circular MSC.1/Circ. 1405/Rev. 1 should serve as guideline for organizing the protection of a vessel by a team of private armed guards. The use of PCASP must however never be considered as an alternative to Best Management Practices (BMP) and other protective measures. As per this administrations instructions, ship operators and masters have to consult and follow advice provided by the latest version of BMP (BMP4 attached).
Additionally and for new security companies only, a meeting with representatives of the PMSC will be organized in Luxembourg in order to discuss several issues like rules for "use of force", training and background checks of personnel and more.
Final decisions will always be taken on a case by case basis.
As of today, the following security companies have been accepted to provide armed maritime security services on board of Luxembourg flagged ships:
Shipowners are free to work with any of these providers or, if they prefer to work with a PMSC not listed here, to contact the Maritime Administration in order to organize a preliminary meeting with executives of the security company.
Security companies do not need to contact the Maritime Administration in order to be added to the list. It is solely based on a documented declaration of intend to contract a PMSC as maritime security provider issued by a shipowner or manager of a vessel under Luxembourg flag, that the Maritime Administration will agree to organize a meeting with representatives of that company.