BIMCO GUARDCON Standard Contract for the Employment of Security Guards on Vessels

5 July 2012

In response to the heightened risk of piracy, ship owners are increasing their demand for the presence of teams of armed security guards on vessels. As a result, more and more private maritime security companies (PMSCs) are being employed to provide security consulting services and armed security guards on vessels. 

Consequently, BIMCO (Baltic and International Maritime Council) has published GUARDCON, a clearly worded contract for the employment of security guards on vessels. The aim of GUARDCON is to assist ship owners and maritime security companies conclude agreements for vessel protection services.

GUARDCON aims to raise standards for PMSCs and, under this new regime, private security operators wanting to retain or compete for new security contracts are expected to demonstrate that they carry the necessary permits, have weapons’ licences and have adequate insurance cover in place.

To meet the new BIMCO GUARDCON contract’s insurance requirements, PMSCs must have in place the following insurances:

• Professional indemnity insurance for US$ 5,000,000

• Public liability insurance for US$ 5,000,000

• *Employers’ liability insurance for US$ 5,000,000

• Personal accident  insurance for US$ 250,000 a person

*Professional legal advice should be taken as you may need a higher limit depending on the domicile of your contracts. In the United Kingdom the minimum statutory requirement is GB£ 5,000,000.

Coral Parfitt, an international insurance consultant who specialises in PMSC insurance solutions at Bellwood Prestbury, explains: “We are an established specialist in maritime security insurance and have been providing insurance to armed security operators for many years. We provide cover for numerous firms around the world, including a good percentage of the SAMI and ICOC members, some of which are divisions of big multinational security companies, whilst others are small start-ups, usually run by ex-military personnel.”

We are able to offer firms a free GUARDCON compliance audit for existing cover. To discuss any aspect of your private maritime security, please call Coral Parfitt direct on: +44 (0) 1242 588 678 or email Coral  at

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