July 23 - BIMCO has issued a warning to shipowners about a number of private maritime security companies using unofficial copies of GUARDCON to conclude transit agreements with shipowners.

BIMCO highlights a handful of cases where wordings vary from the genuine GUARDCON wording.

BIMCO warns that using these unofficial versions may lessen the liabilities and responsibilities of private maritime security companies, as well as breaching BIMCO's copyright. The changes are not clearly marked in the text making it difficult for a shipowner to detect the changes.

Signing a fake GUARDCON that may contain subtle amendments to the liability provisions could prove to be a costly error for a shipowner if something goes wrong.

BIMCO recommends that owners verify the source of any GUARDCON contract to establish that it has been printed directly from IDEA2 - BIMCO's online contract editing system.