Masters risk arrest in South African ports if disembarking srmed guards leave their weapons aboard, warns Gard Norway, following the arrest of two. South Africa has strict rules regarding guns and masters and shipowners should be aware of them.
Says Gard: “Due to the upsurge in piracy activity in the Indian Ocean, there has been a large increase in the number of merchant vessels carrying security guards, guns and ammunition. Often, the security guards disembark the vessel after the vessel has transited the “hotspot” area off East Africa but the guns remain on board, only to be removed at final destination.
The issue of guns and ammunition remaining on board vessels is creating problems for owners and recently two masters were arrested in South Africa and charged under the South African Firearm Control Act. The situation is not new and has already been addressed by Gard both in the form of a Gard alert1 and a Gard News article2.
Gard’s correspondent in Durban SA, P&I Associates, has prepared this overview of requirements related to armaments on merchant vessels.