- International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimium security arrangements for
ships, ports and governmentagencies. Having come into force in 2004, it prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to "detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade." [ISPS Code, Part A, 1.2.1]
The ISPS Code was instituted as part of the international community's response to the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship
Achille Lauroon October 7, 1985 during which event a Jewish-American disabled passenger was killed. Development and implementation were speeded up drasticly in reaction to the September 11, 2001 attacksand the bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg. The U.S. Coast Guard, as the lead agency in the United Statesdelegation to the International Maritime Organization(IMO), advocated for the measure. [ [http://www.worldcruise-network.com/features/feature447/ World Cruise - Maximum Security - Cruise Ships Secure from Terrorist Threats ] ] The Code was agreed at a meeting of the 108 signatories to the SOLAS convention in London in December 2002. The measures agreed under the Code were brought into force on July 1, 2004.
The Code is a two-part document describing minimum requirements for security of ships and ports. Part A provides mandatory requirements. Part B provides guidance for implementation.
The ISPS Code applies to ships on international voyages (including
passenger ships, cargo ships of GT|500|first=yes and upwards, and mobile offshore drilling units) and the port facilities serving such ships. [ISPS Code, Part A, 3.1]
The main objectives of the ISPS Code are:
*To detect security threats and implement security measures
*To establish roles and responsibilities concerning maritime security for governments, local administrations, ship and port industries at the national and international level
*To collate and promulgate 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
The Code does not specify specific measures that each port and ship must take to ensure the safety of the facility against terrorism because of the many different types and sizes of these facilities. Instead it outlines "a standardized, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities."
For ships the framework includes requirements for:
*Ship security plans
*Ship security officers
*Company security officers
*Certain onboard equipment
For port facilities, the requirements include:
*Port facility security plans
*Port facility security officers
*Certain security equipment
In addition the requirements for ships and for port facilities include:
*Monitoring and controlling access
*Monitoring the activities of people and cargo
*Ensuring security communications are readily available
The United States has issued regulations to enact the provisions of the
Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002and to align domestic regulations with the maritime security standards of SOLAS and the ISPS Code. These regulations are found in [http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/33cfrv1_03.html Title 33] of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 101 through 107. [http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/33cfr104_03.html Part 104] contains vessel security regulations, including some provisions that apply to foreign ships in U.S. waters.
The ISPS code has been difficult for some ships to implement, particularly cargo vessels with small crews undergoing cargo operations. Designating a crewmember to be continually at the entrance to the vessel whilst undergoing cargo operations leaves less crew available for other work. In some cases this could lead to dangerously low levels of crewmembers attending a hazardous operation. Hiring shore-based personnel to perform guard duties can alleviate this problem, but may not be possible in some countries where it is not unknown for security guards to be criminals. Passenger vessels and cruise ships typically have a much larger crew including designated security staff and do not suffer from this problem.
Supply Chain Security
* [http://www.imo.org/Newsroom/mainframe.asp?topic_id=897 IMO - FAQ on ISPS Code and maritime security]
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