INTERTANKO Holds Firm Position on Maritime Security

Thursday, April 04, 2002
Speaking via a roundtable discussion at the annual Connecticut Maritime Association (CMA) Exhibition 2002 on March 19, Intertanko managing director Peter Swift summed up — in just a few words — the position that the organization has established since the terrorist attacks of September 11. Swift has made it known that the Oslo, Norway-based organization is working closely via its Washington D.C. affiliate with both the U.S. Coast Guard and IMO to ensure that the tanker market is not the next victim of a terrorist attack.

According to Swift, Dragos Rauta, the organization's technical director and regional manager for North America, who is based in Washington, D.C. is actively involved in bilateral discussions with the USCG to ensure that these security measures are met. As discussed at the meeting that occurred at the Shipping 2002 Exhibition, a series of measures has been introduced by Intertanko to enhance the awareness of maritime security — beginning with the hot topic of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS). Intertanko's position regarding this is an accelerated of the implementation schedule for the mandatory fitting for all vessels of 500 gt and higher - on International voyages. The final decision regarding this matter is set to be decided at the Diplomatic Conference of MSC in December 2002.

It has also been recommended that SOLAS Chapter XI should focus on special measures on maritime security, thus amending the title accordingly. New regulations should include requirements for vessels and port facilities, supported by a draft International Code for the Security of Ships and Port Facilities.

In addition to AIS, all ships more than 500 gt engaged in international voyages should have available security plans (SSPs) — plans, which could be audited in the same way with the audits under ISM Code. This same Code also requires a Ship Security Officer (SSO) and Company Security Officer (CSO) onboard each vessel; training needs of this officer should be developed as part of the STCW Convention including the responsibility for instruction of the crew.

Taking A Stance

Intertanko is known for its active role in all relevant security conferences, both those arranged in the U.S. in early January 2002, as well as the ISGW that occurred in February. The organization steadfastly supports that a world-wide focus be placed on maritime security and that current regulations are examined to enhance safety to seafarer, ship, cargo and the environment, and that the work is based upon IMO and its sub-committees. In addition, the organization, which will continue to attend relevant meetings regarding maritime security, states that measures taken to protect tanker owners should be practical, cost-effective and adaptable to local requirements.

According to Rauta, Intertanko technical director and regional manager for North America, the tanker industry is always working to ensure that is prepared for terrorism — even before September 11. "Tankers will always be targeted because of the nature of their business," Rauta said. "As a result we are in a much better position to deal with potential terrorist attacks because our industry's expectations are so high already."

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