Ships entering or leaving Indian ports are not required to pay a piracy-related additional insurance premium now, a move which will help thousands of the vessels.
The development has come after seas close to the country’s western coast were removed from the list of the High Risk Areas (HRA) for piracy. About 22,000 ships, that called on Indian ports between 2010 and 2015, paid an estimated additional war risk premium (AWRP) of about Rs 8,500 crore.
“Ministry of Shipping took up the issue of redrawing of the High Risk Area (HRA) Line back to 65 Degrees E (from 78 deg E) in the International Maritime Organization and as a result the HRA was redrawn at 65 deg E,” the ministry said in a statement.
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“Thereby, the ships coming to or leaving Indian ports do not have to pay AWRP now,” the statement said.
Earlier, the IMO and members of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) had decided to move the longitude marking of the HRA from 65 Degree to 78 Degree East, extending the high risk area closer to Indian coastline. A host of steps taken to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean and the country getting opportunity to co-chair a global body resulted in redefining of high risk zone, the statement said.
At the CGPCS’s recent meeting in Male India was chosen to co-chair the important Working Group on improving maritime situational awareness in the region through consensus. The meeting held during May 31 – June 3 in Mahe, Seychelles. Seychelles is the current chairman of the CGPCS for the biennium 2016-17.
The CGPCS was set up as a group of interested and affected nations, industry associations and multilateral agencies to take pro-active steps for checking piracy in the Indian Ocean region through a UN Security Council resolution.
An Indian delegation led by the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping and comprising of officers of the Indian Navy, Ministry of External Affairs and Directorate General of Shipping represented India and discussed the actions taken in combating piracy in the Indian Ocean across the coast of Somalia.
In addition to escorting Indian-flagged ships, ships of other countries have also been escorted by the Indian Navy, it said adding merchant ships are currently being escorted along the entire length of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) which is heavily patrolled by Indian Navy vessels.