The Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) has recently announced its liquidation due to a lack of financial sustainability in cause of dropping number of memberships. While SAMI was a stakeholder union of interested PMSC and has its peak in 2012/2013 its importance dropped significantly with international and national institutions regulated their maritime spheres of interest by setting up rules and regulations for the use of armed guards on merchant vessels.
SAMI has faced different challenges while its existence and suffered a transition in 2013 after it started its own certification procedure in advance of the development of special national licenses and ISO 28007. Being popular at this time, external vedding procedures and certifications for PMSCs by third parties had become handy as a source for some profit in 2012, so consequently SAMI staged a 3 leveled, fee-based certification procedure for its members.
This certification never received international recognition, especially as SAMI was unable to assist its member in the framework of the Seaman Guard Ohio case, which also gave rise to doubts, that the certification itself was nothing more than an embellishment. With decreasing rates for the use of armed guards it was therefore a logical consequence that less PMSC has been willingly to resume on their fee-based membership.
As in addition major Flag and Portstates had developed there own procedures for the use of armed guards, the vanishing importance for SAMI has therefore been predictable since the last two years. Even though the CEO of SAMI, Peter Cook, has been giving a lecture on this weeks Counter Terror Expo about Maritime Terrorism, such topic or Maritime Cyber Thread scenarios did not attract the interest of the international shipping industry which is still consolidating for economic reasons, like yesterdays announcement of Hapag Lloyd AG to intensify conversations with UASC for a cooperation shows.
Nevertheless, already on Thursday this week the representatives of SAMIs former Industry Steering Group has pushed a survey to the industry referring the creation of a new stakeholder union for PMSCs which results may be discussed within the 6th Maritime Security Management Conference in Singapore in mid of May. As the ongoing rate decline for PMSC is usually associated with a reduction of quality services, it seems currently doubtful if the majority of the former SAMI members will join a new industry organization which might be only new wine in old wineskins.
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