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
seek guidance from their flag state authorities on the mechanics for
implementation of the new IMO measures.