The International Ship Security Certificate- A handy guide

Navsregss>Ship Certification>International Ship Security CertificateDSC00373

This series of posts has to take a round turn now, to go back and explore an important certificate by-passed earlier on.  

The ISSC- Improving security

Why is it required?

  • The International code for the Security of Ships and of port facilities (ISPS code).
  • SOLAS chapter XI-2

Click here for the IMO ISPS web page>

What is contained on the Certificate?

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • Port of registry
  • Type of ship
  • Gross tonnage
  • Date of initial / renewal verification on which this certificate is basedISPS Cert format

What does it Certify?

  • That the security system and any associated security equipment of the ship has been verified in accordance with section 19.1 of part A of the ISPS Code
  • That the verification showed that the security system and any associated security
    equipment of the ship is in all respects satisfactory and that the ship complies with the applicable requirements of chapter XI-2 of SOLAS and part A of the ISPS Code
  • That the ship is provided with an approved Ship Security Plan

What are the survey requirements?



The certificate is subject to Verifications rather than surveys. These verifications are to ensure that the security system and any associated security equipment of the ship fully complies with the applicable requirements of the Code, is in satisfactory condition and fit for the service for which the ship is intended.

Verification types

Initial verification before the ship is put in service or before the certificate
is issued for the first time.

Renewal verification at intervals specified by the Administration, but not
exceeding five years.

At least one intermediate verification. If only one intermediate verification is
carried out it shall take place between the second and third anniversary date of the

A Definition

“Ship security plan means a plan developed to ensure the application of measures
on board the ship designed to protect persons on board, cargo, cargo transport
units, ship’s stores or the ship from the risks of a security incident.” ISPS code

Which vessels require an International Ship Security Certificate?

The following types of ships engaged on international voyages:

  • Passenger ships, including high-speed passenger craft
  • Cargo ships, including high-speed craft, of 500 gross tonnage and upwards
  • Mobile offshore drilling units;

Note the code also applies to port facilities serving such ships engaged on international voyages. Flag states and regional areas may extend this list to include additional types of vessels.

When does the Certificate become invalid?

  • If the relevant verifications are not completed within the specified periods
  • When a Company assumes the responsibility for the operation of a ship not previously operated by that Company
  • When the vessel is transferred to the flag of another State

Other associated Certificates

Interim International Ship Security Certificate

This is a temporary certificate issued for a period of no more than 6 months that allows a vessel to sail without its full International Ship Security Certificate.

When is it issued?

  • When a ship is without a certificate, on delivery or before its entry or re-entry into service
  • When a ship is transferring flags between Governments
  • When a a ship changes ownership

What must be verified before an Interim Certificate can be issued?

  • That the ship security assessment has been completed
  • That a  copy of the ship security plan meeting the requirements of the Code is provided on board, has been submitted for review and approval, and is being implemented on the ship
  • That he ship is provided with a ship security alert system if required,
  • That the company security officer has ensured:
    • The review of the ship security plan for compliance with the
      the Code
    • That the plan has been submitted for approval
    • That the plan is being implemented on the ship
    • That they have established the necessary arrangements, including
      drills, exercises and internal audits, through which the company security
      officer is satisfied that the ship will successfully complete the required
      verification within 6 months
    • Arrangements have been made for carrying out the required verifications
    • The master, the ship’s security officer and other personnel with security duties are familiar with their duties and responsibilities and within the ship security plan placed on board
    • These personnel  have been provided such information in the working language of the ship’s personnel or languages understood by them
  • The ship security officer meets the requirements of this Part of the Code

Declaration of Security

This is declaration completed by the vessel and a port for a specific period stating the security requirements and allocation of responsibilities. Such declarations are required only in certain circumstances, its detail will be covered in a later post.

Maritime Security Posts


Sources of Information

This Handy Revision guide has just been published for Kindle. The first in a new series of revision aids covering the topic of ship certification.

Click here to see on Amazon>

Tagged , , ,

2 thoughts on “The International Ship Security Certificate- A handy guide

  1. […] International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) or Interim International Ship Security Certificate–SOLAS 1974,regulation XI-2/9.1.1; ISPS Code, part A, section 19 and appendices […]


  2. […] on from the last post on the International Ship Security Certificate, this post has a quick look at its associated […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: