GUARDCON is a standardised contract designed for use between shipowners and private maritime security providers, published in March 2012 by BIMCO, a non-governmental organisation made up of members from various participants in the shipping industry. This paper will first examine the context in which GUARDCON was created and identify the challenges it was designed to overcome. It will then move to a discussion of specific clauses of GUARDCON, evaluating the attempted solutions for the challenges identified and highlighting certain areas that might be of concern to shipowners or security providers intending to use the contract. Only the most significant clauses relevant to the general objectives of GUARDCON or of other particular interest will be addressed. The paper will conclude with speculation on the impact GUARDCON could have on the industry, and its future for use in Somalia and other areas affected by piracy.