Ship and port facility security is a risk management activity. As with all risk management efforts, the most effective course of action is to eliminate the source of the threat. Eliminating the source of the threat, which in this case is those that would commit acts of terrorism or otherwise threaten the security of ships or of the port facilities, is essentially a Government function. 100% security is an aim but cannot be guaranteed - hence the risk reduction approach to lessen possibilities to the lowest practicable.
Following on from the terrorism events on 11 September 2001, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to develop security measures applicable to ships and port facilities. These security measures have been included as amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, 1974 (SOLAS Convention) to which Grenada is a party (Chapter XI-2). The ISPS Code is associated with this new chapter. Part A of the Code is mandatory and Part B recommendatory.
Contracting governments to the SOLAS Convention finalised the text of the preventative maritime security regime at a Diplomatic Conference held at the IMO's Headquarters in London from 9 to 13 December 2002. The Conference adopted the tacit acceptance procedures established in SOLAS to ensure that the maritime security measures would be accepted internationally by 1 January 2004, and in force six months later (by 1 July 2004).
INTERNATIONAL SHIP AND PORT FACILITY SECURITY CODE
The IMO security regime in Chapter XI-2 is essentially preventive in nature, and it applies to ships and port facilities. In Grenada, responses to maritime security incidents will be undertaken through its law enforcement agencies and under existing arrangements for responding to terrorist incidents generally (e.g. through the National Counter-Terrorism Plan).
The objectives of the ISPS Code are to:
establish an international framework involving co-operation between contracting governments, government agencies, local administrations and the shipping and port industries to detect/assess security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade
to establish the respective roles and responsibilities of all these parties concerned, at the national and international level, for ensuring maritime security
to ensure the early and efficient collation and exchange of security-related information
to provide a methodology for security assessments so as to have in place plans and procedures to react to changing security levels
and to ensure confidence that adequate and proportionate maritime security measures are in place.
The objectives are to be achieved by the designation of appropriate security officers/personnel on each ship, in each port facility and in each shipping company to prepare and to put into effect the security plans that will be approved for each ship and port facility.