EUCs in the Maritime Security


Since the BIMCO update on the use of GUARDCON in late 2016, so called End-User-Certificates provided by several PMSC have been cause of concern for ship owners as well as port state authorities around the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean area.

While the use value of such documents in terms of legal compliance is doubtful and may have caused criminal investigation proceedings against unserious PMSC not only in the port states of Africa or the Middle East but also in Europe, the specific tripwires for ship owners and charters to recognize the illegal use of firearms onboard there vessels has been only vague.

The recent publication of the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) referring consolidated regulations for Private Ship Security Companies is providing an solid overview of „red flag“ indicators for the use of EUCs, which are not limited for the use of PCASP onboard vessels under the flag of Cyprus:

„Some common defects found in the Export Licenses /End User Certificates and the firearms’ purchase invoices, which must be avoided, are:

  1. The identification details of the firearms (Manufacturer, Type, Model, Caliber, and Serial Number, as a minimum) are not included in the documents.
  2. The Export License of the firearms indicates as owner / receiver of the firearms a local agent in the country of destination. The End User (PSSC) is mentioned as the importer but its full details (name and address) are missing. Details for both the agent and the End User (PSSC) should be recorded in the appropriate space of the Export License, with full details, clarifying the role of each one (consignee, End User, etc.).
  3. The “End Use” is not clearly stated to be “antipiracy” (or a wording with similar meaning) in the Export License / End User Certificate.
  4. The End User Declaration, instead of Export License / End User Certificate, is submitted. This document, as well as any other document prepared by the buyer / PSSC, is not accepted.
  5. The owner’s (PSSC) identification information appear in purchase invoice and the Export License / End User Certificate is different. The PSSC’s identification information (name and registered address) should be the same on both documents.
  6. The End User of the firearms recorded on the Export License / End User Certificate, is not the applicant PSSC.“

Further information can be found in the DMS Circular No.9/2017, which can be downloaded by the link below.

DMS Circular No. 9/2017

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