What Is White Shipping Agreement

In 2014, the government approved the proposal for bilateral and multilateral agreements on the exchange of white maritime information with Navies, coastguard and maritime security agencies from 26 countries and 3 multinational groups. These agreements, which allow the exchange of unclassified information, are not in themselves security pacts, but would contribute to increasing existing maritime development capabilities (MDA) and thus improving maritime security. So far, agreements have been implemented with three countries and signed with three other countries. The world`s seas are connected to each other and ships can regularly sail around the globe to search for cargo. For example, a ship that is now in Indian waters may be able to sail to a distant destination and, in the same way, sail from ports around the world to India. Advance information about the vessel, its destination and planned itinerary, etc., is therefore extremely useful in collecting an effective MDA, as it can then be correctly identified during check-in. This information will probably be available with the country from which it is sailing. The information is just as relevant to the destination country and the information that is happening on the way. This is why the mutual exchange of this information, called White Shipping Information, is extremely useful for all concerned.

White navigation involves the exchange and exchange of prior information on non-military merchant ships related to identity and ships. There is a specific color code for ships. white is the color code for merchant ships, gray is the color for military ships and illegal ships are coded as black. The agreement provides for the reciprocal exchange of data on white ships. The Indian Navy`s Centre for Information Management and Analysis (Gurgaon) is the model centre for white maritime agreements. As the whole world is connected by the ocean, this is a security threat because everyone can move from one place to another. Hence information on the identity of the ships needed to deal with a possible maritime threat. Indeed, the 26/11 Mumbai attack is a classic case of lack of information exchange and, therefore, mismanagement of the case. Based on the exchange of information by white navigation, the Indian navy works with other authorities such as the Coast Guard and Customs on the maritime domain Awareness (MDA). This contributes to better surveillance and thus enhances maritime security.

To develop a well-known regional maritime zone, India has signed white navigation agreements with various nations such as the United States and Singapore, France and Israel.