The Benefits of ISPS Port Security

The International Ship and Port Safety Code are a revision to the Shipping Legislation for International waters which includes minimum standards of safety for commercial vessels, harbormasters and government authorities. It is one of the six International Maritime Security Treatments which must be implemented by each member nation. The ISPS (International Standard Setting Procedure) is a worldwide standard for regulating all aspects of maritime security. The six levels are I, II, III, IV and V.

The International Ship and Havenbeveiliging Code were introduced as a part of the convention for International waters which specified the types of measures that should be taken in case of a situation involving the shipping of dangerous articles or other hazardous materials. The vessels must be in compliance with the requirements and the rules laid down within the code itself. For instance, the Vessel Identification Number or VIN needs to be attached to the engines of the ship. If there are questions regarding the regulation of the movement of the vessel, the flag of the country and the shipping country should be displayed.

The revised International Shipping Organization Maritime Regulations which came into force in 2021, also introduces several new elements to the ISPS. They include a new International Shipping Vessel Identification Number or VIN; revised International Shipping Methods including a revised International Facility Identification Number or F ADS and other modifications such as introduction of a new Shipping Frequency. The regulations also include a revision to the Shipping Port Security Manual. Some important elements of the manual have been incorporated in the current version. There have been no changes made to the International Traffic Organization’s Manual on Shipping.

The changes to the Shipping Legislation were done keeping in mind the security issues as regards shipping and ports. It has been decided to upgrade the F ADS to reduce the chances of accidents between the ships in the deep sea. For instance, the F ADS is being increased to help reduce collision rates and increase safety. In addition to this, there have been discussions with the stakeholders to develop and improve the operational procedures to manage the risk. An international standard model is being developed by the Association of International Transport Security Officers or AITSO to further improve the methods employed in handling of cargo in high risk situations.

There has also been consultation regarding a set of standards that will help to better determine the nature and cause of an emergency. This is in addition to creating an emergency procedure manual and the improvement of port monitoring equipment. There will be the establishment of an emergency type in the International Facility Service for Agencies and Companies and the International Port Security Management Program. The emergency procedure manual will be applicable for all vessels except those for hazardous drugs. The emergency procedure manual contains requirements for managing the emergencies, fire fighting as well as for medical assistance.

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