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What is ISPS Code

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Twenty-Second Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization unanimously decided to develop new security measures for ships and port facilities.

On December 12, 2002 the Conference of Contracting Governments adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS-74), concerning special measures to enhance maritime safety and security and the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code.

In addition to new rules included into Chapter XI-2, and Parts and B of the ISPS Code, the Diplomatic Conference adopted amendments to the existing ISPS rules, which facilitate compliance with the requirements related to equipment of ships with Automatic Identification Systems, and adopted new Regulations to include into Chapter XI-1, covering marking of Ship's Identification Number and the carriage of a Continuous Synopsis Record. The most important amendments are the new Chapter XI-2 "Special Measures to enhance Maritime Security" and the ISPS Code.

Chapter XI-2 introduces new requirements regulating ships' security with the purpose of prevention of illegal acts, directed against safety of navigation and transportation of protected cargoes by sea.

Requirements of the ISPS Code form the international structure, by means of which ships and port facilities can interact with the purpose of discovery and prevention of acts threatening the safety in the sea transport sector.

The ISPS Code comprises of two parts.

Part sets mandatory requirements, while Part B provides guidelines. Recommendations of Part B should be accounted for in implementation of provisions of Chapter XI-2 and Part of the ISPS Code.

Part establishes requirements to:

Declaration of security;

  • Ship security;
  • Ship security assessment;
  • Ship security plan;
  • Ship security officer;
  • Training, drills and exercises on ship security;
  • Port facility security;
  • Port facility security assessment;
  • Port facility security plan;
  • Company security officer;
  • Port facility security officer;
  • Training, drills and exercises on port facility security;
  • Verification and certification;
  • Issue and validity of Certificate;

It also establishes:

  • responsibility of the Contracting Governments; and
  • obligations of a shipping company.

Part B of the ISPS Code provides explanations and guidelines with regard to implementation of the provisions set out in Part and Chapter XI-2.

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