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Piracy

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what guidance his Department issues to Royal Navy ships operating in or passing through areas where there is a risk of piracy on (a) intervention in and (b) taking active steps to prevent acts of piracy; (202712)

(2) what guidance his Department has issued to (a) UK-registered and (b) Royal Navy ships operating in or passing through areas in and near Somali territorial waters where there is a risk of piracy on (i) intervention in and (ii) taking active steps to prevent acts of piracy in the last five years.

The Royal Navy provides Commanding Officers with classified policy and legal advice to enable them to fulfil the United Kingdom’s obligations under international law, including in particular, the United Nations Conventions on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Department for Transport is responsible for providing advice to UK registered ships on piracy and maritime armed robbery. Up until December 2007, the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) produced the World Wide Threat to Shipping which was available via the Royal Navy website. Although this publication has now ceased, the DIS continue to provide assistance to the Department for Transport.