Lloyd’s Sets Initiative for Industry Security

Thursday, February 13, 2003
The amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention covering maritime security that come into force on July 1, 2004 have raised concerns within the shipping industry that the parties involved – shipowners, managers, port facilities, flag states and class - will be unable to cope with the workload within the deadline. It is therefore imperative that both classification societies, in their pending capacity as Recognized Security Organizations (RSOs), and shipping companies act quickly to ensure that the run up to compliance does not result in a stampede immediately prior to the deadline, as was the case with the implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. Moreover, the timely formulation and adoption of ship and company security plans, both of which are required under the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code enshrined within SOLAS, will ensure that a ‘security culture’ is established, rather than turning the implementation of the ISPS Code into a mere ‘paper exercise’. Lloyd’s Register is working hard to ensure that it will be ready to fulfill the industry’s security requirements. Firstly, as a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), Lloyd’s Register is playing an important role in the Association’s ad-hoc working group on maritime security. The main purposes of the group are to arrive at a standardized audit methodology (IACS Procedural Requirement 24), to define the competence for ISPS auditors (Procedural Requirement 25), and to provide a standardized interpretation of the ISPS Code to ensure consistent application.

The working group met at Lloyd’s Register’s London Office from February 4 to 7, 2003. At this meeting, the group finalized its findings and agreed on a set of standards which are to be passed on to IACS’ General Policy Group, which will in turn report to the IACS Council, currently chaired by Alan Gavin, Lloyd’s Register’s Marine Director. AndrewMitchell, Lloyd’s Register’s Head of Marine Management Systems and also the chairman of the IACS ad-hoc working group on maritime security, says: “The IACS members emerged from the meeting with a uniform understanding of the way forward. We are united in our approach and ready to apply our competence and expertise to the problem of maritime security.”

In addition to leading IACS’ effort to set standards for the auditing of the ISPS Code, Lloyd’s Register is also undertaking a number of other security-related initiatives, including the running of Expert Training Courses on maritime security for its own personnel, beginning in Rotterdam and then moving on to Hong Kong and Houston, and the publishing of its ISPS Practical Pack, which can be used by shipping companies as a framework for formulating their security plans, in conjunction with training. “Lloyd’s Register is doing its utmost to prepare itself to take on RSO duties,” says Mitchell, “and we urge the shipping companies to begin their own work as soon as possible. We cannot begin to audit ships until their ship security officers and plans are in place. The more time it takes for companies to comply, the less time the RSOs will have to issue certificates.” While Mitchell acknowledges that the timescale for compliance is highly compressed, he emphasizes the need for shipping companies to create their own security plans. “Lloyd’s Register’s philosophy is that security management systems should be developed by the company with expert input, rather than having a third party do the entire job. We feel very strongly about that, and that’s why we’re providing the framework of the ISPS Practical Pack.”

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