Known throughout our sector as a consistently high-quality provider, all our services are compliant with International Maritime Law and Conventions, as well as UK licensing laws. We don’t just meet the standards that govern our industry – we’re keen to positively influence and shape them. So we work closely with key stakeholders like the UK Government, flag states, P&I clubs, BIMCO and SCEG to share our expertise and experience in compliance, advising on the development and implementation of new standards. As a result we have been at the forefront of developing ISO standards for the industry and shaping government regulations in the regions we work in.
In the regions that allow us to deploy our own guards and firearms we use Ambrey guards, who are trained in-house and fully vetted by us. In all other regions we deploy Local Naval Armed Guards.
Ambrey guards are trained at our training locations in Poland, Ukraine, India and Sri Lanka, ensuring they have an independently validated MSO certification which has been specifically developed to meet the Maritime Security Standard ISO 28007. Once they are fully qualified we also keep these personnel up-to-date with refresher training covering the latest developments in the industry threat, including regulatory updates and threat analysis.
We also recognise that there are times when individual clients, their flag states or charterers have their own requirements for guards, and we will work with you to make sure that the team we deploy can meet those needs.
In some parts of West Africa, most particularly Nigeria, it is only possible to use Local Naval Armed Guards to provide armed security, but these personnel are only allowed to be embarked on commercial vessels in some countries. So in Nigeria, it’s only possible to provide security using Local Navy Armed Guards from Nigerian-navy-approved Security Escort Vessels (SEVs). In countries like Togo and Ghana however, you’re free to embark LNAGs provided your flag state permits it.
We personally sea-trial every vessel before deployment to ensure it can perform as necessary, completing and carefully documenting a full inspection. We check that each SEV is well maintained, can achieve the required speed to match that of the client vessel it is protecting, has effective communications capabilities and has a competent crew on board. Every SEV we deploy has been fully registered and approved by the Nigerian Navy.
Each escort operation is then mobilised by our in-country Operations Manager, who oversees everything from bunkering to the embarkation and deployment of the local guards, and every vessel is tracked in real-time using our bespoke tracking platform. We also embark an Ambrey-trained Maritime Security Liaison Officer (MSLO) on board each escort vessel to provide liaison between our Ops team, the vessel crew and the host nation forces. This approach ensures effective command and control of each operation, ensuring the smoothest possible delivery of our SEV service.
We’re proud to be the only maritime security company in the world which owns and operates its own Transfer Vessels. These vessel based armouries support the provision of armed guard services in the Indian Ocean.
Owning our own vessels gives us complete control over our supply chain, from the vessels themselves to the people and equipment on board. It also allows us to provide consistently high levels of service to our clients. Because we don’t outsource this service, we prevent delays in the transfer of teams and equipment onto your vessels.
Our transfer vessels are licensed by the UK Government to operate as floating armouries, both for Ambrey and for third party PMSCs. The transfer vessels are Djibouti-flagged, which means they are subject to an additional level of oversight from the Djibouti Government for the movement of all weapons on and off the vessels.
Our teams are supported in their work by high quality equipment and firearms, making sure they have all the tools they need to provide the best possible service.
Our Ambrey guards use a combination of firearms, including the single-shot bolt-action Steyr Scout and the semi-automatic L1A1 7.62×51.
All of our weapons are licensed by the UK Government for the purpose of providing maritime security to and from the following ports : Mozambique, South Africa, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Egypt, Oman, Tanzania, Madagascar, Comoros, Fujairah, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, India and Mauritius, as well as to and from our transfer vessels in the Gulf of Oman and the Red Sea. We also hold individual approvals from each of these countries for the legal movement of weapons.
Our Ambrey guard teams are tested on their weapons safety handling and Rules for the Use of Force at the beginning of every transit, and further refreshed between transits and our onshore and offshore facilities. Each of our vessels also has a resident armourer to conduct routine maintenance on our equipment.
When operating in regions that don’t allow the use of UK government firearms, such as the Gulf of Guinea or the Sulu Sea, Ambrey supplies armed personnel through Local Naval Armed Guards. They are contracted under the appropriate legal framework for that jurisdiction and covered under Ambrey’s own insurances as recommended in BIMCO’s advice to owners. These teams are deployed with their own firearms and equipment and operate to their nation’s own Rules of Engagement.
We work hard to maintain strong relationships with a large number of flag states. Primarily to support our global client base by making sure we know how to meet each flag’s requirements, but also to support the flag states themselves by providing advice as those requirements evolve.
We maintain a matrix of compliance requirements for each flag state on the use of armed security teams. The flag states we currently work with are: Panama, Cyprus, Croatia, UK, Greece, Liberia, Bahamas, Comoros Islands, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Malta, Hong Kong, Norway, Ukraine, Singapore, St Vincent and Grenadines, Spain, Isle of Man, China, India, Philippines, South Korea, Gibraltar, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Portugal, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Palau.
As the world’s largest maritime security provider with worldwide clients, we work with a large variety of flag states. The below registries are supported.
Our commitment to compliance combined with our excellent security record has led to a strong relationship with the London insurance market. In fact, several major underwriters offer a discount of up to 75% for vessels deploying Ambrey teams.
We contract for our armed guards services using BIMCO’s Guardcon and our contracts have been approved by all major P&I clubs. Where we provide armed security services using Local Navy Armed Guards, they are also covered by our insurances and are contracted using BIMCO’s Guardcon, as per BIMCO’s advice to owners on the use of Local Navy Armed Guards.
Our transfer vessels are insured in the London market. We’ve also completed due diligence questionnaires for several underwriters, including Hiscox, Catlin, Aspen and Travelers.
In our industry, working to a high standard isn’t just good practice – it’s vital for the safety and security of our staff and clients.
We’re accredited to a number of ISO standards, which we maintain through an Integrated Management System that allows us to aim for and achieve the same benchmarks across all our operations.
The very nature of our work is hazardous and unpredictable, yet we still believe that the majority of accidents and illnesses are preventable.
We understand the requirement for HSE in the commercial maritime environment and recognise that our people are potentially exposed to risk not only at sites belonging to Ambrey but in contexts controlled by our stakeholders, clients and suppliers. So we’ve developed robust Health, Safety and Environment policies that cover all aspects of our business.
Given the nature of our work we pay particular attention to our ‘lost-time injury’ figures and are committed to a range of preventative measures to protect our teams and those we work with from serious injuries. We employ an on-call company doctors who are on call to give medical advice in the event of an accident or illness. All guards must also complete an induction prior to deploying with Ambrey, which includes a comprehensive brief on all HSE elements.