MSCHOA - Changes to Vessel Movement Registration Instructions

May 2011

The Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) has significantly expanded the area in which vessels must register to bring this in line with UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) requirements. MSCHOA recently issued the following notice:  


Please note :

There have been some changes to the Vessel Movement Registration instructions to MSCHOA. These instructions should be followed by all merchant vessels transiting the High Risk Area set out in BMP3. All changes and guidelines on use are set out on the MSCHOA website and are in place with immediate effect.

The key change is that there are now 4 entry/exit boundaries to and from the High Risk Area and these are; 78 East, 23 North, 10 South , Suez and Port (local).

The reasons for the changes to the MSCHOA vessel registration instructions have been made are as follows :

  • The piracy threat has expanded East across the Indian Ocean.
  • The new entry/exit boundaries reflect the borders of the High Risk Area set out in BMP3 and the Anti-Piracy Planning Chart Q6099. They also reflect the UKMTO reporting area. The only difference is that the MSCHOA Registration area does not include the Arabian Sea so registration is required when crossing 23 North.

The reasons for MSCHOA Vessel Movement Registration remain extant, namely:

  • To enable MSCHOA to have a full profile of the vessel, its dimensions and all security measures in order that a vulnerability risk assessment can be made and this information is used by MSCHOA watch keepers to inform naval assets at sea. Vessels need to register to MSCHOA only once each entry.
  • To enable full risk analysis of vessel registrations by flag, owner, ship type, cargo, self protection measures and any contracted security. This important data allows militaries to work with Flag States, Industry Organisations and Ship Operators to analyse pirate trends and prepare updated advice. This ultimately enables more informed BMP updates, preparation of ship security plans (SSP) and importantly demonstrates the shipping industry‚Äôs efforts to fight piracy. Many MVs are not registering the presence of Private Armed Security with MSCHOA. This information is important to enable full operational understanding of the threats and vulnerability in the high risk area. Information concerning the presence of Armed Security onboard vessels will not be passed to flag states or industry organisations. Group Transit coordination through the IRTC.

UKMTO vessel reporting remains important; it enables:

  • UKMTO to be the Emergency Point of Contact for all ships at sea, as set out in BMP3.
  • UKMTO to conduct bridge to bridge communications with merchant vessels at sea, as set out in BMP3 .
  • UKMTO to be the Emergency Incident Management Centre that is responsible for informing counter piracy forces of each piracy incident.

All Merchant Vessels transiting the High Risk Area should register to MSCHOA :

  • Even if not transiting GOA .
  • Even if going in a National Convoy.
  • Even if the registered vessel is carrying armed security (this information will be kept in confidence).
  • Even if the registered vessel is not going in a Group Transit .

Each transit through High Risk Area requires registration to MSCHOA

If Vessel registration is not made under these conditions the ship is NOT BMP compliant as recognised by the Shipping Industry including the IMO , the Military and Flag States.



The  MSCHOA website is at: Registration is encouraged to ensure full access to all areas of the website and MSCHOA