Piracy incidents in Asia hit their highest level in 5 years in 2020
Incidents of sea theft and piracy in Asia rose 17% year on year to just under 100 in 2020, amid the continued threat of possible attacks from the Abu Sayyaf Group, or ASG, sparking warnings for increased vigilance, said an international watchdog monitoring the trend. the weekend of January 16 to 17.
Overall, those incidents in Asia, excluding attempts, increased 32% from 2019 to a five-year high in 2020, ReCAAP said. ReCAAP is the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.
ReCAAP’s annual data release draws close to attacks on tankers in the Middle East.
THE THREAT KEEP SHIPPING INSURANCE RATES HIGH, COSTS STABLE
At present, maritime security in Asia is receiving special attention, particularly following the attack on tankers near the Persian Gulf late last year, which kept the firm marine insurance rates due to additional war risk premium.
The Strait of Hormuz, which leads to the Persian Gulf, is a critical choke point through which 30% of the world’s maritime oil passes.
“War risk premiums remain firm for all vessels operating in the region due to the prevailing threat,” said a marine insurance official.
Last month, a Hafnia-owned LR1 tanker exploded after being hit by an external object in early December 14 while unloading a cargo of gasoline at Saudi Arabia’s western port of Jeddah, reported sources with direct knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts.
The insurance premium varies from vessel to vessel depending on its age and depreciation, but another marine insurance official said that due to the current situation, any reduction in tariffs was little. likely.
These premiums are usually paid as an actual expense, which the owners charge the charterer after the trip or transit is completed. Bonuses vary depending on the location of the vessel, its transit route, age and flag. Unlike freight, insurance premiums are generally not in the public domain.
By mid-December 2020, Asia-Pacific Long Range 1, or LR1, tanker prices had reached their highest level in more than six months, with a Persian Gulf-Japan benchmark route of 110 points globally. , due to high demand.
RISK NOT LOWERING SOON
A direct impact of these incidents is that the Persian Gulf will not be removed from the high-risk area it has been in for nearly two years now, a clean tanker broker in Singapore has said.
The Joint War Committee of the insurance body Lloyd’s Market Association had added the Persian Gulf and adjacent waters, including parts of the Gulf of Oman, to the list of areas at risk of “hull warfare, piracy, terrorism. and related hazards ”in May 2019.
According to ReCAAP, the trend of increasing piracy and sea theft has been seen across Asia, including regions such as Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore Strait. and the South China Sea, ReCAAP said.
Most of the incidents in the Singapore Strait involved larger vessels such as bulk carriers and tankers and took place on the eastbound lane of the traffic separation system.
“With the increase in incidents, law enforcement in Asia should step up surveillance, increase patrols and respond quickly to arrest and prosecute perpetrators,” Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP told a conference. Virtual.
Singapore is located along one of the busiest waterways in the world, with nearly 1,000 ships anchored there at all times. A ship calls at the Port of Singapore every two to three minutes, bringing the total to around 130,000 ships per year, and it is therefore essential that maritime passage through the region be free from piracy.
From industrial raw materials like coal to essential food items like rice, products worth billions of dollars are transported on commercial ships near the Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea, according to industry estimates.
The kidnapping of crews in the Sulu-Celebes seas and in the waters off eastern Sabah remains a concern, Kuroki said. In the past five years, of the 86 crew members kidnapped in the Sulu-Celebes Sea, 71 have been released and 11 have died or been killed, according to ReCAAP estimates.
Established in 2006, ReCAAP is the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and strengthen cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. It has 20 member countries, including all ASEAN members except Malaysia and Indonesia, with France and Germany scheduled to join in the future.