Posted on June 13, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Indian government has issued a restriction on Indian seafarers, banning them from working on vessels transiting through the Gulf of Guinea & Nigeria.
The Directorate General of Shipping in India has sent a letter to major ship companies & ship owners, informing them that this decision has been made due to the increased rate of piracy and crew kidnappings in the Gulf of Guinea.
The statement reads: “For the attention of shipowners, ship managers, shipping agents, RPSL agents, ship masters, seafarers, charterers, shipbuilders, Ship Breakers Association, Classification Societies recognised by Directorate General of Shipping, non-exclusive survey companies, insurance companies, coastal state including administrations of union territories/islands and Maritime Boards.
“Piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea are becoming more violent with a greater tendency to attack, hijack and rob vessels as well as kidnap crew, in the waters of Gulf of Guinea.
“Accordingly, all RPSL agents are instructed to not engage any Indian seafarers on coastal vessels trading solely within the ports in Gulf of Guinea (i.e. Benin, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea). All concerned stakeholders are also advised to take note of the information provided in this advisory and act accordingly.”
This move on behalf of India will certainly complicate shipping in the region. Currently, India is Nigeria’s largest trading partner, as it is buying at least 30% of Nigeria’s crude oil, estimated at over $10 billion, annually.
Nigeria, in turn, buys a large number of Indian manufactured goods.