Miscelleneous

What is ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security ) code?

isps
Written by Amit Sharma

The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is an amendment to the  Safety of Life at Sea Convention (1974/1988) on  minimum  security arrangement  for  ships, ports  and  government  agencies.  

The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
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.”

The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) has since formed the basis for a comprehensive mandatory security regime for international shipping.The Code is divided into two sections, Part A and Part B. Mandatory Part A outlines detailed maritime and port security-related requirements which SOLAS contracting governments, port authorities and shipping companies must adhere to, in order to be in compliance with the Code. Part B of the Code provides a series of recommendatory guidelines on how to meet the requirements and obligations set out within the provisions of Part A.
The ISPS Code is part of SOLAS so compliance is mandatory for the 148 Contracting Parties to SOLAS.

 Main objectives of ISPS code are:
  1. To establish an international framework involving co-operation between Contracting Governments, Government agencies, local administrations and the shipping and port industries to detect security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade;
  2. To establish the respective roles and responsibilities of the Contracting Governments, Government agencies, local administrations and the shipping and port industries, at the national and international level for ensuring maritime security;
  3. To ensure the early and efficient collection and exchange of security-related information;
  4. To provide a methodology for security assessments so as to have in place plans and procedures to react to changing security levels; and
  5. To ensure confidence that adequate and proportionate maritime security measures are in place.

Following types of ships engaged on international voyages are covered under the ISPS:

  • Passenger ships including high-speed passenger craft;
  • Cargo ships including high-speed craft, of 500 GRT and upwards;
  • Mobile offshore drilling units; and
  • Port facilities serving such ships engaged in international voyages.

ISPS code does not apply to:

  • Warships,
  • Naval auxiliaries or other ships owned or operated by a CG (coast guard) and used only on Government non-commercial service.

CERTIFICATE FOR PORT

The certificate issued to a port facility under the ISPS code is a  ” Statement of Compliance of a Port Facility”

CERTIFICATE FOR SHIP

The certificate issued to a ship  under the ISPS code is a ” International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) or Interim International Ship Security Certificate”

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About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.