Pressure from shipowners played. The defense minister, Hans Hillen, has agreed to review the rates of protection by the military ships of the Navy in risk areas of the Indian Ocean.
Too expensive, the Marines?
Although they acknowledged that the presence of Marines aboard their ships is the " best guarantee for the safe transport of goods in areas that are plagued by pirates , "the owners felt that the service (public) was much expensive than private companies and that it undermined the " competitiveness "of the Dutch flag. The shipowners' contribution to these teams vessel protection detachment (VPD) will be reduced from 8,300 euros to 5,000 euros per day. This puts the bill " for 14 days at sea, at 70,000 euros instead of 116,000 euros ", explained the Minister in a letter sent to owners and members of the second chamber.
Five VPD made within three months
Recall that the Netherlands did not allow private armed guards on ships flying their flag preferring to provide military personnel for journeys sensitive. According to a latest report prepared by the Minister, Defence received in the past three months 17 applications for the merchant navy. A request does not meet the criteria: it was a request for assistance on a preventive road well outside the area where Somali pirates operate. Only five have been followed by effective deployment of marine commandos on board these ships: Your Shine , Singapore in Malta (April 11 to May 5), the Talisman , Jebel Ali in Singapore (from 10 to 31 May), the Tern from Singapore to Bahrain (from June 6 to 20) of the Target Sjarjah Abu Zenima and back (from June 16 to July 11); the Tern again, from Bahrain to Singapore (from 25 June to 7 July). Five applications were withdrawn because the owners have indicated that cost was too high VPD. Four other applications were not accepted because the time between receipt of the request and the early deployment of the VPD was too short. Remaining 7 applications and actually correspond to five deployments.
Lower demand forecast
Accompanying the request is actually less than what was planned. The defense budget for 2012 and provided 23.4 million euros for the deployment of VPD, including € 11.3 million paid by the shipowners.But this budget has so far been used only up to € 3.8 million, of which half (1.6 million) paid by the shipowners. The Hague and is considering the deployment of 175 teams in 2013 VPD. A figure to relate to the size of the Dutch merchant marine (1160 ships)