In November 2001, two months after the “9/11” attacks, IMO‘s 22nd Assembly adopted resolution A.924 (22) Review of measures and procedures to prevent acts of terrorism which threaten the security of passengers and crews and the safety of ships, which called for a thorough review of all existing measures already adopted by IMO to combat acts of violence and crime at sea.
The Assembly agreed to hold a diplomatic conference on maritime security in December 2002, to adopt any new regulations that might be deemed necessary to enhance ship and port security and prevent shipping from becoming a target of international terrorism and it also agreed to a significant boost to the Organization’s technical co-operation programme of £1.5 million, to help developing countries address maritime security issues.
The ISPS Code and other maritime security measures were developed by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and its Maritime Security Working Group before being adopted by a Conference n Maritime Security in December 2002, with entry into force set for 1 July 2004.
Main objectives of ISPS code are:
- 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;
- 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;
- To ensure the early and efficient collection 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.