Togo Implements New Anti-Piracy Measures in a joint-venture with Ocean and Land Security (OLS)
Following the pirate attacks of recent months and also last year against vessels in the Gulf of Guinea and along the West African Coast, the Togolese Government has reached an agreement with security companies for the provision of armed guards to vessels at anchorage in the port of Lome – Togo (LFW).
The main security company – Ocean and Land Security (OLS) – is a member of the Groupe Gato, Budd’s Togolese representative.
OLS has provided us with the following information and recommendations about the security measures that have been adopted collectively by the Togo and its neighbours, and which concern Lome:
1. In Togo, the ISPS code is implemented at level 1.
2. The Togolese National Navy has recently received special training from the French and American Armed Forces on combatting pirates.
3. OLS has an agreement with the Togolese Army to supply vessels with armed guards.
4. It is henceforth mandatory for all vessels to apply for clearance before performing STS operations in Togolese waters.
5. In order to obtain clearance, it is also mandatory for vessels to nominate local Agents in the Port of Lome. The Compagnie Maritime d’Agence et d’Affrètement (CM2A) is ever ready to handle this task efficiently.
6. Vessels which have duly obtained this clearance will be subjected to a flat anchorage fee of Euro 1,525.50 per 15 days, whereas vessels which contravene these regulations will be fined.
7. SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
For the security and safety of your vessel in Togolese territorial waters, the following instructions have been given by the Togolese naval authorities (OLS’ partner). Vessels and their Masters are under the obligation to respect them.
A – What you have to do:
a) When dropping anchor, your vessel should be about 3-4NM from Benin and Ghana’s territorial waters. This will give the Togolese Navy Patrol Boats sufficient time and distance to chase any attacking pirates.
b) Your vessel must be equipped with DSC (Digital Selective Calling) radio to enable Togo Navy to identify her quickly in case of an attack.
c) To respect the normal communication procedures during Pirate attacks, i.e. radio the call “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”
B – What you are not authorized to do:
a) Never to establish any relationship with the fishermen, in particular with the fishermen from the neighbouring sea waters other than the Togolese sea waters or with the fishermen from Togo who do not have any registration number on their fishing boats.
b) Avoid entering into any illegal relationships/business with the shipping agencies and/or their staff. Do not have any dealings with the agents without the knowledge of the port authorities.
It should be noted that a penalty/fine will be imposed on any vessel which fails to follow any of the above regulations which exist to ensure the safety and security of the Master, crew members, cargo and the vessel itself.
LOME PORT TECHNICAL INFORMATION
– The secured anchorage area is 1NM from the West African Gas pipeline and 6NM from the breakwater.
– Lome Port has a VHF station which transmits on channels 16, 14, 12 day and night.
– A radio homing transmitter transmits on 379 kHz.
– Signal “LME” Pos.: 06° 10’N and 01° 16, 3’ East.
– Lome has a Radio Coast Station; working frequencies are 500 and 472 kHz.
– Call signal “5VA”.
– VHF Radiotelephone on channel 16
– Medium wave telephone on 2182 kHz when requested.
– The Togolese Navy has a VHF station working on channels 16, 10 day and night
Ship Arrival Notification:
– Ships agents are to be informed as early as possible of vessels’ expected arrival time in Lome.
– Ships have to call the Togolese Navye and Lome port control before dropping anchor.
– The ETA telegram should contain:
– The ship’s particulars;
– The quantity of cargo to be discharged/loaded as well as the
– ETA notification can also be sent by telex directly to the port. Telex no. 5243 TGPORT TO (or Fax).
OLS is a private company which has a special contract with the Togolese Armed Forces by virture of which it is able provide an elite mixed brigade of four armed guards, including personnel from the Navy, Police, and Gendarmerie (Military Police) to vessels.
OLS complies with the BIMCO Guardcon Guidelines and Contract for the Employment of Security Guards on board vessels, providing at least one guard who speaks English and acting in accordance with the GUARDCON Rules for Use of Force (RUF) as established by the BIMCO sub-committee and approved by most P&I Clubs (see IMO Circulars 1405 and 1406).
OLS advise that they will be happy to provide quotations upon request.
OLS, c/o Groupe Gato, Rond Point Port de Lome,Place des 4 Etoiles, Lome – TOGO ; Tel. +228 22 27 94 57 /22 71 94 77, Fax: +228 22 27 94 62
AMEGNIDO Prosper Gato: CEO : +228 9004 1110
KOUDEMON Mawuli: Deputy : +228 9031 5603 (24hrs/7days)
(source: Budd Group)