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Friday, 1 March 2013

National conflicts lead to maritime security risks world wide

Shipping is an international business and most voyages (even the short national ones) handle cargo or persons with important international aspects or ties. This is off course the reason for IMO - an international business needs an international governing body.

The international aspects of shipping also mean that national or local conflicts have effects worldwide. An example of this is the international effects the piracy off Somalia has caused where maritime security has climbed as a topic even on national political agendas far from Somalia. So piracy off Somalia has lead to a new focus on ship security, but also that criminals in other parts of the world has gotten influenced/inspired by the piracy off Somalia.

Another example of how conflicts in one part of the world affects shipping in a seemingly safe corner of the world is the discovery (in February) of parts for military vehicles onboard a Finnish ship in a Finnish port. The military equipment was on its way to Syria. According to news sources it was an attempt of smuggling from Russia to Syria. Not only has EU banned export of military equipment to Syria, but having this kind of cargo passing thru Europe is also a security risk opening up for people to wanting statute an example.

At the same time USA has this week announced that they will support Syrian rebels with equipment. I have not seen anything about the transport route, but I assume that (civilian) ships will be involved.

The conflict in Syria has thus spread out to sea and with it risks…

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