Implementation of 46 USC 55305(e)
Advisory on Possible Piracy in High Risk Waters 04 January 2017


Pursuant to its statutory responsibilities under 33 CFR 101.405, the United States Coast Guard from time to time issues Maritime Security Directives designating certain sea areas as “high risk waters” due the possibility of terrorism, piracy or armed robbery against ships.  U.S. flag vessel owners take these designations into consideration in the development of vessel security plans, which must be approved by the Coast Guard.

46 United States Code Section 55305(e) provides that Federal agencies other than the Department of Defense shall, subject to the availability of funds, reimburse U.S. vessel owners or operators for the cost of providing armed security against piracy while carrying U.S. government cargo in high risk waters.  For purposes of subsection 55305(e), “high risk waters” means waters so designated in a Coast Guard Maritime Security Directive in effect on the date an applicable voyage begins, provided that the Secretary of Transportation has either (a) determined that an act of piracy has occurred in such waters within 12 months preceding voyage commencement, or (b) issued an advisory within the preceding 12 months that an act of piracy is possible in such waters.

The Secretary of Transportation has delegated to the Maritime Administration the authority conferred by subsection 55305(e).


Effective 04 January 2017, U.S. vessel owners are hereby advised that an act of piracy is possible within high risk waters designated by the Coast Guard in Maritime Security Directive 104-6.


Questions pertaining to this Advisory and to implementation of subsection 55305(e) should be directed the Maritime Administration Office of Security at