London Club Urges Members to Review Security Plans

Friday, January 10, 2003
The London P&I Club has urged its members to review their security arrangements in light of forthcoming amendments to SOLAS in the wake of the recently completed IMO maritime security review, including the introduction - within eighteen months - of a new International Ship & Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. In the latest issue of its London Club News, the Club notes that precise requirements affecting shipowners will depend on individual flag state procedures involving, for example, the appointment of Responsible Security Organizations for the auditing and certification of security plans. It outlines a number of key features relating to these requirements, and notes that responsibilities will also be imposed on vessels and operators aimed at ensuring the availability on board of sufficient information to satisfy authorized representatives of contracting states of the parties involved in the vessel's employment and business. The Club notes further that security alert systems are required to be installed on all vessels by July 1, 2004 and those built after that date, which is also the date on which the ISPS Code comes into force. The code addresses, in particular, ship and port security levels and systems in a likely three-stage process involving owners' security assessments, ship security plans, and approved auditing and verification. Noting that changes to security requirements in the US have also been introduced by the recent Maritime Transport Security Act - which contemplates the publication of new USCG regulations by April 1 this year, possibly reflecting the ISPS Code requirements - the Club urges members to seek guidance from their flag state authorities on the mechanics for implementation of the new IMO measures.

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