Guyana and the United States of America (USA) have signed a bilateral agreement which will see more cooperation between the two countries in putting a plug on illicit trade and narcotics trafficking at sea.

The agreement, dubbed “Shiprider Agremeent”, was signed between U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd.

The initiative is expected to come onstream next week, and will facilitate maritime and airspace patrols to inderdict drugs.

Bilateral maritime law enforcement shiprider agreements provide U.S. government vessel and aircraft platforms and maritime law enforcement expertise to assist host nation law enforcement officials with exercising their authority.

Shiprider agreements help close global maritime law enforcement gaps; improve cooperation, coordination, and interoperability; and build maritime law enforcement capacity to more effectively combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other illegal activity.

The agreements allow partner nation law enforcement officials to embark on vessels and aircraft of the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy, where authorized by the agreements; and allow authorized U.S. vessels and aircraft to assist host country law enforcement officials with maritime surveillance and boarding vessels under the official’s authority and jurisdiction.

Generally, shiprider agreements are executed by U.S. Coast Guard vessels, aircraft, and maritime law enforcement officials; however, U.S. Navy, host nation, and third-party government vessels and aircraft participate as well, where authorized in the agreements.  The U.S. Navy supports joint shiprider operations through the Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) and the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI).

Jamaica has a Shiprider Agreement with the U.S. too. The accord allows United States vessels to pursue and search within Jamaica’s waters, vessels suspected of drug trafficking; United States vessels may also pursue and search suspect Jamaican vessels in international waters.


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