This guide consolidates existing IMO maritime security-related material into a companion guide to SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code. It contains all relevant regulatory guidance and legislation, as well as information on:
- Security responsibilities of governments and their national authorities
- security responsibilities of port facility and port operators
- security responsibilities of ship operators
- framework for conducting security assessments.
In the wake of the tragic events of 11 September 2001 in the United States of America, a Diplomatic Conference on maritime security was held at the London Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) from 9 to 13 December 2002. This Conference adopted a number of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, the most far-reaching of which enshrined the new International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The Conference also adopted a series of resolutions designed to add weight to the amendments, encourage the application of the Measures to ships and port facilities not covered by the ISPS Code and pave the way for future work on the subject.
The ISPS Code was produced in just over a year by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and its maritime security Working Group. It contains detailed security-related requirements for Governments, port authorities and shipping companies in a mandatory section (part A), together with a series of guidelines about how to meet these requirements in a second, non-mandatory section (part B).
Due to the urgent need to have security measures in place, the ISPS Code came into effect on 1 July 2004, just 18 months after its adoption. To assist Contracting Governments in exercising their implementation responsibilities, particularly those in lesser developed countries, one of the resolutions at the Diplomatic Conference invited IMO to develop training materials and, if necessary, further guidance on various aspects of the ISPS Code.
This was accomplished in the 2003–2008 period through the development of model training courses; the issuance of specific guidance, mainly in the form of MSC circulars; the organization of over 100 regional and national workshops; and the conduct of several advisory and assessment missions in response to requests from individual Governments.
In 2009, as IMO’s focus was shifting to other pressing security issues (notably piracy and armed robbery) and the implementation of long-range identification and tracking systems, there was a growing recognition of the need to reinforce implementation of the ISPS Code and to strengthen linkages with other IMO initiatives. In responding to this need, IMO took stock of the training and guidance materials that it had issued over the preceding six years. It found that, while some of the materials had become outdated, much remained relevant but was situated in an array of documentation that was not easily accessible by maritime security practitioners.
This Guide has been prepared as a practical way of providing Government and industry practitioners responsible for implementing the ISPS Code with a consolidated and up-to-date source of guidance material with appropriate linkages to other ongoing IMO initiatives.