Security in ports

The IMO has, as an integral part of its mandate, the duty to make travel and transport by sea as safe as possible. 

A comprehensive mandatory security regime for international shipping entered into force on 1 July 2004 and included a number of amendments to the 1974 Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), the most far-reaching of which enshrined the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), which contains detailed security-related requirements for Governments, port authorities and shipping companies in a mandatory section (Part A), together with a series of guidelines about how to meet these requirements in a second, non-mandatory section (Part B).

The purpose of these maritime security measures is to:

establish an international framework involving co-operation between Contracting Governments, Government agencies, local administrations and the shipping and port industries to detect/assess security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade;    

  • to establish the respective roles and responsibilities of all parties concerned, at the national and international level, for ensuring maritime security;
  • to ensure the early and efficient collation and exchange of security-related information;
  • to provide a methodology for security assessments so as to have in place plans and procedures to react to changing security levels; and
  • to ensure confidence that adequate and proportionate maritime security measures are in place.

The objectives are to be achieved by the designation of appropriate officers/personnel on each ship, in each port facility and in each shipping company to prepare and to put into effect the security plans.

Sources: IMO

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