International Ship and Port Security

From July 1st 2004 the ISPS Code came into effect, this requires vessels bound for ABP South Wales Dock estate berths to complete Port Security Ship's pre- arrival information forms, available on, and forward to them to Cardiff LPS.

This documentation MUST be completed at least 24 hours before the vessel's arrival. Failure to complete this mandatory documentation may result in the vessel's arrival being delayed or prohibited.

In November 2001, following the events of 9/11, the IMO’s International Maritime Safety Committee and the Maritime Working Group adopted a review of measures and procedures to prevent acts of terrorism which threaten the security of passengers and crews and the safety of ships.

On 12th December 2002 the Conference of Contracting Governments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea adopted the ISPS Code.To enhance maritime security another resolution also adopted was the necessary amendments to Chapters V and XI of SOLAS – now re-identified as Chapter XI and XI-2.

The objectives of the 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/assess security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade”

  2. "to establish respective roles and responsibilities of all these parties concerned, at the national and international level, for ensuring maritime security”

  3.  "to ensure the early and efficient collation and exchange of security related information”

  4. "to provide a methodology for security assessments so as to have inplace plans and procedures to react to changing security levels”

  5. "to ensure confidence that adequate and proportionate maritime security measures are in place”

How are these objectives going to be met?

These objectives will be met by the designation of appropriate officers and personnel on board ships, in each shipping company and in each port facility.These personnel will be responsible for the preparation and implementation of security plans.

Brief Contents of the ISPS Code.

The code itself is split into two sections – Part A and Part B.Part A details the mandatory section of the code whilst Part B details guidance to enable the instructions under Part A to be carried out.

Part A

Part A of the ISPS Code details the MANDATORY requirements to which reference is made in Chapter XI-2 of the Annex to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974, as amended.

Some of the main areas of Part A are detailed below:-

Section 2 – definitions

Security Levels

Security level 1 – level for which minimum appropriate protective security measures shall be maintained at all times

Security level 2 – level for which appropriate additional measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk or security incident

Security level 3 – 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 target.

Section 3 – Application

1The code applies to the following :-

i)  passenger ships including high speed craft engaged in international voyage

ii)  cargo ships including high speed craft of 500grt and upwards engaging in international voyage

iii)  mobile offshore drilling units

iv)  Port facilities serving such ships engaged on international voyages.

Section 4 – Responsibilities of Contracting Governments

The Contracting Government shall set security levels and provide guidance, or alternatively delegate this responsibility to a Recognised Security Organisation (RSO).

Other responsibilities include:-

  1.  approving port facility security assessments and subsequent amendments

  2. determining port facilities

  3. approving port facility security plans and subsequent amendments

  4. exercising control and compliance measures

  5. establishing the requirements for a Declaration of Security by assessing the risk the ship/port interface or ship to ship activity poses to persons, property or the environment (further detailed in section 5)

Section 7, 8 and 9 – Ship Security, Security Assessments and Security Plans

These sections detail:-

  1. The responsibility of the ship in relation to the security levels placed upon it by the Contracting Government.

  2. Information regarding the security assessment required to be undertaken

  3. The information required to be present in the approved Ship Security Plan

Section 14, 15 and 16 – Port Facility Security, Security Assessment and Security Plan

As per Sections 7,8 and 9 – these sections relate in exactly the same way to the designated port facility.

Part B

Section B outlines guidance on the processes envisaged in establishing and implementing measures and arrangements needed to achieve and maintain compliance with the provisions of chapter XI-2 and or Part A of the ISPS Code

The sections include:-

  1.   Introduction

  2.   Definitions

  3.   Application

  4.   Responsibilities of Contracting Governments

  5.   Declarations 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

  19.  Verification and certification for ships

Details on Port Facility Numbers etc. Please click on the link below which will take you to the IMO Website. Following the instructions below you will be able to find Port Facility Numbers for any port in the UK or indeed the World.

Public Login - Highlight United Kingdom and click on Login

On tab at top of Page - Click on Ports and Port Facilities

From the drop down box choose the Port Facility required - Click on View

The details you require will be displayed