IMO Program Enhances ISPS Implementation

Monday, April 19, 2004
In the run-up to the 1 July 2004 international deadline for implementation of the maritime security measures adopted by IMO in December 2002, a far-reaching and multi-faceted programme of technical assistance by the Organization, aimed at helping Governments strengthen maritime and port security, is in full swing and having a significant impact, particularly in the developing world. IMO launched its global technical co-operation programme on maritime security in January 2002, 11 months before the IMO Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security adopted amendments to the SOLAS Convention and the related International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) in December 2002. The aim of the global programme initially was to raise awareness of maritime security threats and of the possible future regulatory measures that were being developed at that stage. Activities carried out during 2002 included the development of lesson plans and manuals and the delivery of sub-regional seminars, workshops and advisory missions. A total of eight sub-regional seminars or workshops were conducted. Since the adoption of the ISPS Code in December 2002, training materials have been updated twice in order to place more emphasis on practical approaches to implementation of the new regulatory regime, with particular attention on the preparation of port facility security assessments and plans. Furthermore, to provide a dedicated source of financial support for the maritime security technical co-operation activities and, in particular, for national initiatives in the developing regions, a Maritime Security Trust Fund has been established. In addition, IMO has developed and published model courses for Ship Security Officers, Company Security Officers and Port Facility Security Officers. To date, IMO has delivered or supported 19 advisory and needs-assessment missions, as well as high-level briefings at national level, and has organized 18 regional and sub-regional and 35 national seminars/workshops covering all developing regions. To date, 2,691 personnel from maritime administrations, shipping companies, ports and industry and regional organizations have been trained. IMO is currently in the process of commissioning the production of a training package, which will incorporate relevant elements of the SOLAS amendments, the ISPS Code, the IMO model course for Port Facility Security Officers (No. 3.21) and the ILO/IMO Code of Practice on Security in Ports, which is set to be approved by both organizations during 2004. The training package is likely to incorporate a CD-ROM containing video-clips, written materials and inter-active, web-based links. To further enhance the existing programme for maritime and port security, IMO is also developing a related "Train-the-Trainer" programme. The objective is to assist Governments to strengthen regulatory implementation by enlarging the pool of trained instructors capable of delivering high quality maritime security training at the national and regional level, using IMO's updated training package and its three model courses for security officers. The programme will seek to identify potential instructors from Member States and the industry who, following initial training through IMO, can return to their countries and regions and train other instructors. Background Following the terrorist attacks on the United States of America on 11 September 2001, the United Nations, through Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), called on the international community to redouble efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, including full implementation of the anti-terrorist conventions. In response, IMO adopted a resolution (A.924(22)) at its 22nd Assembly session held in November 2001 calling for a review of measures and procedures to prevent acts of terrorism which threaten the security of passengers and crews and the safety of ships. The Secretary-General of IMO was requested by the same resolution to take appropriate measures, within the Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (ITCP), to assist Governments to strengthen maritime and port security. It was made clear that it was essential that the Organization begin to provide technical assistance concurrently with the process of review and amendments of the regulatory regime. In December 2002, the Organization convened a Diplomatic Conference which adopted a series of measures aimed at providing an internationally agreed and implemented regulatory framework for ship and port security. The measures included the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and a series of amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). The new measures will enter into force on 1 July 2004.

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