Agreement between the Governments of___________________________,
(Hereinafter, “the Parties”);
Bearing in mind the complex nature of the problem
of piracy and armed robbery against ships;
to the urgent need for international cooperation in preventing and
suppressing piracy and armed robbery against ships;
Desiring to promote greater cooperation between the parties and thereby
enhance their effectiveness in preventing and suppressing piracy and
armed robbery against ships;
Being conscious of
the fact that, in order to prevent and suppress piracy and armed robbery
against ships effectively and efficiently, the active participation
of all States affected is needed;
Taking into account that
the Governments do not have sufficient technical and material resources
to prevent and suppress piracy and armed robbery against ships independently;
Recognizing that piracy and armed robbery
are international and transnational threats to seafarers, property
and the environment; and conscious of the fact that the Parties are
experiencing increased incidents of piracy and armed robbery within
their maritime zones and adjoining international waters;
Have agreed as follows:
For the purpose of this Agreement, unless expressly provided otherwise:
1 "Piracy" means those acts as defined in Article 101 of the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982.
2 "Armed robbery against ships" means [...].
3 "National waters [and airspace]" means the territorial sea and internal waters of the
Parties [and the air space over those States].
4 "Law enforcement vessels" mean ships of the Parties clearly marked and identifiable as
being on government non-commercial service and authorized to that effect, including any
boat and aircraft embarked on such ships, aboard which law enforcement officials are
[5 "Law enforcement aircraft" means aircraft of the Parties engaged in law enforcement
operations or operations in support of law enforcement activities clearly marked and
identifiable as being on non-commercial government service and authorized to that
5 "Liaison officer" means one or more law enforcement officials, including boarding
teams, of one Party authorized to embark on a law enforcement vessel of another Party.
6 "Suspect vessel" means a vessel used for commercial or private purposes in respect
of which there are reasonable grounds to suspect it is involved in piracy or armed
robbery against ships.
7 "Incident Command System" means a regional system for operational/tactical response
to acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships providing common terminology, modular
organization, integrated communications, unified command structure, consolidated action
plans, manageable span of control, designated incident facilities and comprehensive
Nature and scope of the Agreement
1 The Parties shall cooperate in preventing and suppressing piracy and armed robbery at
sea to the fullest extent possible, consistent with available law enforcement resources
and related priorities.
2 The Parties undertake to agree on procedures for improving intelligence sharing.
Operations in [and over] national waters
Operations to suppress piracy and armed robbery in the national waters of a Party are
subject to the authority of that Party.
Programme for law enforcement officials aboard another Party's vessels
1 The Parties shall establish a law enforcement liaison officer programme among their
law enforcement authorities. Each Party may designate a coordinator to organize its
programme activities and to notify the other Parties of the types of vessels and
officials involved in the programme.
2 The Parties may designate qualified law enforcement officials to act as law
enforcement liaison officers.
3 Subject to the law of the Parties involved, these liaison officers may, in appropriate
.1 embark on the law enforcement vessels of other
.2 authorize the pursuit, by the law enforcement
vessels on which they are embarked, of suspect vessels fleeing into the
territorial waters of the liaison officer's Party;
.3 authorize the law enforcement vessels on which
they are embarked to conduct patrols to suppress acts of armed robbery against
ships in the liaison officer's Party's national waters; and
.4 enforce the laws of the Parties in national
waters, or seaward there from in the exercise of the right of hot pursuit or
otherwise in accordance with international law.
4 When a liaison officer is embarked on another Party's
vessel, and the enforcement action being carried out is pursuant to the liaison
officer's authority, any search or seizure of property, any detention of a person, and
any use of force pursuant to this Agreement, whether or not involving weapons, shall be
carried out by the liaison officer, except as follows:
.1 crew members of the other Party's vessel may
assist in any such action if expressly requested to do so by the liaison officer
and only to the extent and in the manner requested. Such request may only be made,
agreed to, and acted upon in accordance with the applicable laws and policies;
.2 such crew members may use force in self-defence,
in accordance with the applicable laws and policies.
5 Parties may only conduct operations to suppress piracy
and armed robbery in the waters of another Party with the permission of that Party in
any of the following circumstances:
.1 an embarked liaison officer so authorizes;
.2 on those exceptional occasions when a suspect
vessel, detected seaward of national waters, enters the national waters of another
Party and no liaison officer is embarked in a law enforcement vessel, and no law
enforcement vessel from the Party whose national waters have been entered by a
suspect vessel is immediately available to investigate, the law enforcement vessel
may follow the suspect vessel into national waters, in order to board the suspect
vessel and secure the scene, while awaiting expeditious instructions and the
arrival from law enforcement authorities of the Party in whose national waters the
event took place;
.3 on those equally exceptional occasions when a
suspect vessel is detected within a Party's national waters, and no liaison
officer is embarked from that Party and no law enforcement vessel is immediately
available to investigate from that Party, the law enforcement vessel from another
Party may enter the national waters, in order to board the suspect vessel and
secure the scene, while awaiting expeditious instructions from the law enforcement
authorities and the arrival of law enforcement officials of the Party in whose
national waters the event has occurred; and
.4 Parties shall provide prior notice to the law
enforcement authority of the Party in whose national waters the event took place
of action to be taken under subparagraphs .2 and .3 of this paragraph, unless it
is not operationally feasible to do so. In any case, notice of the action shall be
provided to the relevant law enforcement authority without delay.
[6 When aircraft of the Parties (hereafter referred to as
“aircraft”) are operating to suppress piracy and armed robbery against ships or
supporting such operations, other Parties shall permit those aircraft:
.1 to overfly the territory and waters of other
Parties with due regard for the laws and regulations of those Parties for the
flight and manoeuvre of aircraft, subject to paragraph 7 of this section; and
.2 to land and remain in national airports, after
receiving authorization from the minister of public security, on the occasions and
for the time necessary for the proper conduct of operations deemed necessary under
7 The Parties shall, in the interest of flight safety,
observe the following procedures for facilitating flights within the national airspace
by law enforcement aircraft:
.1 in the event of planned law enforcement
operations, Parties shall provide reasonable notice and communication frequencies
to the appropriate aviation authorities responsible for air traffic control of
planned flights by its aircraft over national territory or waters;
.2 in the event of unplanned operations, the Parties
shall exchange information concerning the appropriate communication frequencies
and other information pertinent to flight safety; and
.3 any aircraft engaged in law enforcement operations
or operations in support of law enforcement activities in accordance with this
agreement shall comply with such air navigation and flight safety directions as
may be required by pertinent aviation authorities, and with any written operating
procedures developed for flight operations within their airspace under this
Operations seaward of the territorial sea
1 Whenever law enforcement officials of a Party encounter a suspect vessel flying the
flag of another Party or claiming to be registered in the country of another Party,
located seaward of any State's territorial sea, this Agreement constitutes the
authorization of that Party for the boarding and search of the suspect vessel and the
persons found on board by such officials. If evidence of piracy or armed robbery against
ships is found, law enforcement officials may detain the vessel and persons on board
pending expeditious disposition instructions from the Government of the flag State.
2 Except as expressly provided herein, this Agreement does not apply to or limit
boardings of vessels seaward of any State's territorial sea, conducted by either Party
in accordance with international law, whether based, inter alia, on the right of visit,
the rendering of assistance to persons, ships, and property in distress or peril, the
consent of the shipmaster, or an authorization from the flag State to take law
Jurisdiction over detained vessel
1 In all cases arising in national waters, or concerning vessels flying the flag of a
Party seaward of any State's territorial sea, the Party whose flag is being flown by the
suspect vessel shall have the primary right to exercise jurisdiction over a detained
vessel, cargo and/or persons on board (including seizure, forfeiture, arrest, and
prosecution), provided, however, that the Party may, subject to its constitution and
laws, waive its primary right to exercise jurisdiction and authorize the enforcement of
another Party's law against the vessel, cargo and/or persons on board.
2 Instructions as to the exercise of jurisdiction pursuant to paragraph 1 shall be given
1 Operations to suppress piracy and armed robbery pursuant to this Agreement shall be
carried out only against suspect vessels, including vessels without nationality, and
vessels assimilated to vessels without nationality.
2 All Parties shall utilize the Incident Command System when operating in conjunction
with another Party in an operation within the scope of this Agreement.
3 All Parties undertake to agree on uniform reporting criteria in order to ensure that
an accurate assessment of the threat is developed. Furthermore, all Parties shall
endeavour to ensure that reporting ships are not unduly detained for investigative
purposes. A summary of reports to each Party shall be shared at least annually with the
4 A Party conducting a boarding and search pursuant to this Agreement shall promptly
notify the flag State of the results thereof. The relevant Party shall timely report to
the other Party, consistent with its laws, on the status of all investigations,
prosecutions and judicial proceedings resulting from enforcement action taken pursuant
to this Agreement where evidence of piracy and armed robbery has been found.
5 Each Party shall ensure that its law enforcement officials, when conducting boardings
and searches [and air interception] activities pursuant to this Agreement, act in
accordance with the applicable national laws and policies of that Party and with the
applicable international law and accepted international practices.
6 Boardings and searches pursuant to this Agreement shall be carried out by law
enforcement officials from law enforcement vessels [or aircraft]. The boarding and
search teams may operate from such ships [and aircraft] of the relevant Parties, and
seaward of the territorial sea of any State, from such ships of other Parties as may be
agreed upon by the Parties. The boarding and search team may carry standard law
enforcement small arms.
[7 While conducting air intercept activities pursuant to this Agreement, the Parties
shall not endanger the lives of persons on board and the safety of civil aircraft.]
7 All use of force pursuant to this Agreement shall be in strict accordance with the
applicable laws and policies and shall in all cases be the minimum reasonably necessary
under the circumstances. Nothing in this Agreement shall impair the exercise of the
inherent right of self-defence by law enforcement or other officials of either Party.
8 When carrying out operations pursuant to this Agreement, the Parties shall take due
account of the possible advantage of conducting boarding and search operations in safer
conditions at the closest port of a Party to minimize any prejudice to the legitimate
commercial activities of the suspect vessel, or its flag State or any other interested
State; the need not to delay unduly the suspect vessel; the need not to endanger the
safety of life at sea without endangering the safety of the law enforcement officials or
their vessels [or aircraft]; and the need not to endanger the security of the suspect
vessel or its cargo.
9 To facilitate implementation of this Agreement, each Party shall ensure the
Parties are fully informed of its respective applicable laws and policies, particularly
those pertaining to the use of force. Each Party shall ensure that all of its law
enforcement officials are knowledgeable concerning the applicable laws and policies of
the other Parties.
10 Assets seized in consequence of any operation undertaken in the national waters
of a Party pursuant to this Agreement shall be disposed of in accordance with the laws
of the Party. Assets seized in consequence of any operation undertaken seaward of the
territorial sea of a Party pursuant to this Agreement shall be disposed of in accordance
with the laws of the seizing Party. To the extent permitted by its laws and upon such
terms as it deems appropriate, a Party may, in any case, transfer forfeited assets or
proceeds of their sale to another Party. Each transfer generally will reflect the
contribution of other Parties to facilitating or effecting the forfeiture of such assets
11 The law enforcement authority of one Party (the "first Party") may request, and
the law enforcement authority of another Party may authorize, law enforcement officials
of the other Party to provide technical assistance to law enforcement officials of the
first Party in their boarding and investigation of suspect vessels located in the
territory or waters of the first Party.
12 Any injury to or loss of life of a law enforcement official of a Party shall
normally be remedied in accordance with the laws of that Party. Any other claim
submitted for damage, injury, death or loss resulting from an operation carried out
under this Agreement shall be processed, considered, and if merited, resolved in favour
of the claimant by the Party whose officials conducted the operation, in accordance with
the domestic law of that Party, and in a manner consistent with international law. If
any loss, injury or death is suffered as a result of any action taken by the law
enforcement or other officials of one Party in contravention of this Agreement, or any
improper or unreasonable action is taken by a Party pursuant thereto, the relevant
Parties shall, without prejudice to any other legal rights which may be available,
consult at the request of a Party to resolve the matter and decide any questions
relating to compensation.
13 Disputes arising from the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement
shall be settled by mutual agreement of the Parties.
14 The Parties agree to consult, on at least an annual basis, to evaluate the
implementation of this Agreement and to consider enhancing its effectiveness, including
the preparation of amendments to this Agreement that take into account increased
operational capacity of the law enforcement authorities and officials. In case a
difficulty arises concerning the operation of this Agreement, any Party may request
consultations with another Party to resolve the matter.
15 Nothing in this Agreement is intended to alter the rights and privileges due any
individual in any legal proceeding.
16 Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice the position of any Party with regard
to the international law of the sea.
Entry into force and duration
1 [Entry into force]
3 This Agreement shall continue to apply after termination with respect to any
administrative or judicial proceedings arising out of actions taken pursuant to this
Agreement during the time that it was in force.
In witness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective
Governments, have signed this Agreement.
Done at , this day of