Following on from the last post on the International Ship Security Certificate, this post has a quick look at its associated code.
The International Code for the Security of Ships and Port Facilities
Following terrorists attacks of 11th September 2001 the IMO agreed to the development of new measures relating to the security of ships and of port facilities; out of this agreement came the ISPS code
What makes the ISPS code mandatory?
SOLAS Chapter XI-2 , Special measures to Enhance Maritime Security
Regulation 4 Requirements for Companies and Ships
“2 Ships shall comply with the relevant requirements of this chapter and of part A of the ISPS Code, taking into account the guidance given in part B of the ISPS Code, and such compliance shall be verified and certified as provided for in part A of the ISPS Code…..”
This Code applies to the following ships 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
- Port facilities serving such ships engaged on international voyages
What does SOLAS Say about ship security and the Master’s discretion?
“1 The master shall not be constrained by the Company, the charterer or any other person from taking or executing any decision which, in the professional judgement of the master, is necessary to maintain the safety and security of the ship. This includes denial of access to persons (except those identified as duly authorized by a Contracting Government) or their effects and refusal to load cargo, including containers or other closed cargo transport units.”
Contents of the ISPS code
This list of sections within the code give in an indication of the range of its requirements. The contents of sections 7, 8, 9,10, 12 and 14 are the most applicable to ships and require a Ship Security Assessment, Ship Security Plan and Ship Security officer to be in place.
- 1 General
- 2 Definitions
- 3 Application
- 4 Responsibilities of Contracting Governments
- 5 Deceleration of Security
- 6 Obligations of the Company
- 7 Ship Security
- 8 Ship Security Assessment
- 9 Ship Security Plan
- 10 Records
- 11 Company Security Officer
- 12 Ship Security Officer
- 13 Training, Drills and exercises on Ship Security
- 14 Port Facility Security
- 15 Port Facility Security assessment
- 16 Port Facility Security Plan
- 17 Port Facility Security officer
- 18 Training, Drills and exercises on Port Facility Security
What is covered by the ship Security Assessment (SSA) ?
- Physical security
- Structural integrity
- Personnel protection systems
- Procedural policies
- Radio and telecommunication systems, including computer systems and networks
- Other areas that may, if damaged or used for illicit observation, pose a risk to
persons, property, or operations on board the ship or within a port facility
What is the Ship Security Plan (SSP)?
“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 definitions
Contents of the plan
- The organizational structure of security for the ship
- The ship’s relationships with the Company, port facilities, other ships and relevant authorities with security responsibility
- The communication systems to allow effective continuous communication
within the ship and between the ship and others, including port facilities
- The basic security measures for security level 1 that will always be in place
- The additional security measures that will allow the ship to progress without
delay to security level 2 and, when necessary, to security level 3
- Procedures for regular review, or audit, of the SSP and for its amendment in response to experience or changing circumstances
- The reporting procedures to the appropriate Contracting Governments contact points
What are the Security Levels?
These are set by Governments based on the security threat. Each threat level will have a corresponding series of security measures within the Ship and Port Security plans.
- Security level 1 means the level for which minimum appropriate protective
security measures shall be maintained at all times.
- Security level 2 means the level for which appropriate additional protective
security measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of
heightened risk of a security incident.
- Security level 3 means the level for which further specific protective security
measures shall be maintained for a limited period of time when a security incident
is probable or imminent, although it may not be possible to identify the specific
What nominated personal are required by ISPS?
The Company Security Officer (CSO) is responsible for ensuring that a Ship Security
Assessment (SSA) is carried out for each of the ships in the Company’s fleet.
Ship Security Officer (SSO) means the person on board the ship, accountable to the
master, designated by the Company as responsible for the security of the ship.
Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO)means the person designated as responsible for the development, implementation, revision and maintenance of the port facility
security plan and for liaison with the ship security officers and company security