Hiring of private security services made easier for Spanish vessels potentially affected by piracy
To date security firms were required to be authorized in Spain, so in practice it was virtually impossible to embark security personnel on Spanish flagged vessels.
Article 18 of Royal Decree-Law 14/2022 has amended Legislative Royal Decree 2/2011 approving the Revised State Ports and Merchant Shipping Law (by setting out a new additional provision number thirty-six) to allow Spanish shipping companies to hire private security services that will ensure their protection when sailing in waters where there is a high risk of piracy and will be able to prevent the risk through deterrence or repulsion.
In short, the approved measure, which came into force on August 2, 2022, has determined that Spanish shipping companies whose vessels flying the Spanish flag sail in the waters of other countries or in international waters declared by the competent organizations as high risk areas of piracy may enter into agreements for private security services consisting of the embarkation of security personnel with companies engaging in this activity, authorized to provide these services by a member state of the EU or EEA, and fulfilling the requirements in article 19.6 of Private Security Law 5/2014 of April 4, 2014.
The biggest change is that to date those security firms were required to be authorized in Spain, where, unlike other countries in the EU (Greece, Malta, for example) or in the EEE, there were no duly authorized specialized firms, and therefore, in practice, it was virtually impossible to embark security personnel on vessels flying the Spanish flag.