Controversy resolved: Revision of the High Risk Area announced

The High Risk Area (HRA) that marks the territory in which the Best Management Practices 4 should be adopted has been a vital tool in the state-industry collaboration to successfully contain piracy. The exact size of the HRA has become contested since quite a while. Today the current chairman of the CGPCS, the External Action Services announced together with a set of Industry Associations representing the consortium authoring the BMP the revision of the HRA. As the EEAS suggested in today’s press declaration:

“The dispute over the boundaries of the HRA has been the longest and most divisive issue that the stakeholders of the Contact Group have faced since its inception in 2009. The way the piracy High Risk Area dispute has been handled and now concluded is testimony to the Contact Group model of multi-stakeholder governance. Maciej Popowski: “This reinforces the conviction that the Contact Group model can serve as an example and reference for international coordination and cooperation when the international community is confronted with complex international problems. All CGPCS stakeholders deserve to be congratulated on this resounding success.”

The industry announced today to revise the coordinates of the High Risk Area, while pointing to the importance of the Voluntary Reporting Area not changing. The changed coordinates will be in place from the first of December 2015. As the industry associations pointed out:

“The revised area acknowledges the variable nature of the piracy risk in the region as highlighted by the SHADE threat assessment and recognises the vital contribution of military counter-piracy forces, whilst at the same time trying to ensure that awareness and self-protection by merchant ships endure. […] The HRA is now reconfigured to new coordinates recognizing the proposals made to the Contact Group and designating an area in which merchant ships should apply the appropriate self-protection measures.”

The full announcement of the Shipping Association is available here, and the exact coordinates here. A reconstruction of the HRA debate is available in the following Lessons Learned Paper.

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