EU – Industry Best Management Practices Version 3, a real step forward in self-protection for Merchant Ships

Best Management Practices 3 (BMP3) is now available for the public in booklets and on It represents a real step change; the booklet will significantly encourage wider adoption of self protection measures by ships transiting the High Risk Areas and ultimately help reduce the number of pirated ships off the coast of Somalia.

Defensive measures
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The purpose of the Industry Best Management Practices (BMP) is to assist ships to avoid, deter or delay piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, the Gulf of Aden (GoA) and the Arabian Sea. Experience, supported by data collected by Counter Piracy Forces, shows that the application of the recommendations contained within this booklet can and will make a significant difference in preventing a ship becoming a victim of piracy.

BMP has become fully recognized as the standard for guidance and protection for shipping from piracy off the coast of Somalia across the Global Maritime Community. 25,000 copies of the booklet will be published and the intentions of Industry are to make the booklet freely available and ensure wide and effective distribution of this booklet is achieved so that the booklet will become standard documentation on the bridge of all Merchant Ships. Where possible, this booklet should be read with reference to the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa website (, which provides additional and updated advice. As intelligence has been gathered and lessons learned evaluated, industry has been able to update and revise this guidance, which has been harmonised and coordinated by all concerned parties during the revision process.

Major General Buster Howes, Operation Commander EU NAVFOR comments: “EU NAVFOR welcomes the development of Best Management Practice 3. It enhances the measures that merchant ships can take in order to deter pirate attacks. The adoption of these self-protection measures is the single most effective way to help EU NAVFOR and other coalition forces to deter piracy and to respond effectively if ships are under attack”.

The revision of this document has been conducted by and with full participation and agreement by the 13 Industry Organisations who are signatories to it, as well as in full consultation with combined naval forces – EUNAVFOR, the NATO Shipping Centre and the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Press release