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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Maritime Security

With the deadline for full implementation of the ISPS Code now just one week away, we have gathered a full package of information on Maritime Security to give an idea of how many ships and ports might not achieve full certification in time, but more important to give members some idea of how Maritime Security is going to work in practice and who needs to do what in order to arrive at a workable operational structure.

INTERTANKO’s websitewill also feature a new section, accessible from the Home Page, which contains summaries of previous articles and  the latest updates as they come in on security certification for tankers and for ports worldwide.


  • ISPS Code – one week to deadline
  • ISPS Code – IMO update on all ship and port compliance
  • IMO admits ISPS deadline will fail
  • IMO’s GISIS database listing ISPS-compliant ports
  • Latest ISPS Code implementation by INTERTANKO members
  • Security clauses – protection for owners in voyage charters
  • No facsimile copies of ISSCs for US CG
  • US Senate passes Coast Guard Authorization Act
  • US CG letter re law enforcement personnel access
  • US port security improvements
  • USCG Hawkeye
  • INTERTANKO helps achieve a smooth ship-shore security interface

ISPS Code – one week to deadline

The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code comes into effect one week from today – on 1 July 2004. Hindsight has shown that the ISPS Code was developed in haste and insufficient attention has been paid to its implementation by many involved in the process – flag administrations, security advisors, recognised security organisations, owners, and operators.

It is now up to everyone to work cooperatively to improve maritime security while keeping commerce moving. The needs of neither maritime security nor maritime commerce should solely predominate. Growing pains are expected as port state control (PSC) officials, ships’ crews, and facility personnel adjust to the new paradigm.

All involved in the process should take the time to review various pertinent documents, such as: (1) the ISPS Code; (2) the IMO Guidance on implementation of security measures (3) the USCG PSC Targeting and Boarding Policy, Part I; (4) the USCG Policy, Part II.; (5) UK Maritime Security FAQ; (6) Australian Transport Security Policy; (7) Singapore Special Measures for enhancement of maritime security; and (8) the Canadian Maritime Transportation Security Regulations.

Responsible parties should redouble their efforts to ensure that all required paperwork, such as the International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC), is on board the ship or at the facility prior to 1 July.

Masters should utilise at-sea time to conduct drills and training in the new maritime security regime, particularly just prior to entering a U.S. port, where the most intensive scrutiny can be expected. In this regard, company and ship security officers should pay particular attention to Enclosure (3) of the USCG documents, as this relates to the PSC boarding procedure and includes questions that the boarding officer may ask various crew members to determine their familiarity with maritime security responsibilities. Masters and agents must also ensure that advance notices of arrival are timely, complete, and accurate.

Masters are encouraged on and after 1 July to implement additional security measures when calling at port facilities that do not have approved port facility security plans. In this regard, masters are encouraged to utilise the Guidance issued by the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) for establishing security measures when calling at non-compliant port facilities.

Additionally, masters should obtain copies of the port facility security plan approval letters for all calls at an approved port facility so as to be able to demonstrate this during subsequent PSC boardings.

(Source material from inter alia Holland & Knight LLP, WashingtonDC)

Contact:Gunnar A. Knudsen

ISPS Code – IMO update on all ship and port compliance

The IMO issued a News Release providing an update on implementation of the ISPS Code. Reports from 39 member states show continued progress in issuance of International Ship Security Certificates (ISSCs) to ships for which security plans have been submitted and in approval of port facility security plans.

Unfortunately, approximately 21.6% of the ships and 66% of the port facilities of these nations have yet to submit security plans for review and approval. There are 164 member states and it is unclear whether the 39 that have submitted data are representative of the entire group. These 39 nations, though, register 67.4% of the ships that trade internationally.

IMO admits ISPS deadline will fail

According to Lloyd's List, the IMO has conceded for the first time in its public pronouncements that the deadline for compliance with the ISPS Code will not be met.

The latest figures from the IMO, based on responses from 39 governments, covering 83.6% of world tonnage, show that 33% of 21,283 ships falling under the ISPS Code are now compliant. (These figures cover world tonnage subject to the ISPS Code and are thus not confined to tankers).

While this means some 915 ships have been issued with certificates in the five days since the last IMO update, even at this rate, the level of compliance will only just nudge over the 50% mark by the due date.

No security plans had even been submitted covering 4,607 ships (21.6%), the IMO said.

Meanwhile, port compliance figures look likely to fall very short of their 100% target. Reporting on 6,582 ports, 39 states said 1,065 security plans had been approved (16.2%). No security plans had even been submitted in the case of 4,338 ports.

The IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos said: “I am, therefore, concerned that unless prompt action is taken urgently by all parties concerned, we may live to regret any delay in acting as we should have done within the 18-month period since the IMO security measures were adopted by the 2002 SOLAS conference.”

He stressed the need for shipping lanes, particularly those of strategic significance, to be kept open under all circumstances.

He added: “To this effect, we have undertaken some research work at the Secretariat to identify those shipping lanes which may be vulnerable to terrorist attacks and are prepared and eager to work with others to act proactively in a manner which will protect, to the best of our abilities, the interests of safety, security, the environment, seaborne trade and the world economy at large.”

IMO’s GISIS database listing ISPS-compliant ports

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has developed a Database called the IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS)for the purpose of listing ISPS-compliant ports. Click here to download details on how to log on and use the site
Click here to enter the IMO web site

Some fifty countries have named their Single National Point of Contact and some have provided input on compliant ports. The Single National Point of Contact for each member country is being given access in order to enter its national information directly into the Database. This will hopefully take place during the remainder of June.

Latest ISPS Code implementation by INTERTANKO members

Input received from INTERTANKO members to date indicates that the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code implementation work is well underway and that the 1 July 2004 deadline will be met by the vast majority of members’ tankers. As of 22 June 2004, 213 members have responded to our request for information on their status regarding ISPS Code implementation. They account for 93% of membership companies and 100% of the tankers registered by our membership.

So far only 0.5% of the tankers recorded expect not to meet the deadline, and those for reasons largely outside the operators’ control.

Of tankers registered by our membership, 100% (2,148 tankers) of the vessels have submitted a Ship Security Plan (SSP) and 90% (1,936 tankers) have it approved. International Ship Security Certificates (ISSCs) have been issued to 62% (1,341 tankers) of tankers registered with INTERTANKO.

The figure for tanker ISSCs has been rising very fast, increasing from 6.5% end April to 19% end May and on to the current 62%.

For INTERCARGO’s bulk carrier membership, 65% of the bulk carriers registered with INTERCARGO members have been issued with their ISSCs as of Friday 18 June. The Association believes that other members may have obtained ISSCs but have not informed it of that fact.

Contacts: Jan Svenne or Gunnar A. Knudsen

Security clauses – protection for owners in voyage charters

The ISPS Code (International Code for the Security of Ships and of Port Facilities) enters into force on 1 July 2004. It is therefore timely to consider the various security clauses that have entered the market for use in voyage charters as well as re-examine INTERTANKO’s own clause covering this important subject. The clauses that this article will focus on include those issued by STB, Chevron, Vitol, Shell and BP. The key issues that any clause needs to cover include the following:

  • Validity of Notice of Readiness
  • Allocation of the risk of delay to the vessel
  • Provision of information by charterers
  • Compliance with the ISPS Code and other security regulations
  • Allocation of costs, losses, liabilities
  • Nomination of alternative ports

INTERTANKO charterparty clauses are drafted to be model clauses and can be used as written or for comparative purposes. The Association’s Documentary Committee seeks to draft clauses that are comprehensive and also ensure liabilities are balanced between the respective parties. Before examining some of the clauses in the market it is perhaps useful to consider INTERTANKO’s Maritime Security Clause. Click here to download a copy.

Comments on INTERTANKO’s clause.

Some of the key features of the INTERTANKO Maritime Security Clause for voyage charters are as follows:

  • Covers ISPS Code and other laws and regulations relating to the security of the vessel and or the port in force at the date of the charter
  • Covers charterers’ obligations as regards information that owners may be required to supply to the relevant security authorities
  • Allocates the risk of delay due to any measures required by any port facility or authority
  • Allocates the risk of delay where a vessel has arrived but is not given security clearance
  • The cost of compliance with any security plan is to be for owners’ account
  • The cost of any other measures imposed by relevant security authorities shall be for charterers’ account
  • The owners bear the costs and losses resulting from any failure or breach on their part
  • If the port the vessel was originally bound for cannot be entered the clause deals with the issue of nomination of a substitute port and the allocation of liability for the additional expenses thereby incurred

It is important to note that the clause is not a substitute for a war risk clause. Advice on such clauses is available on our website.

The clause deals with the information that owners may have to provide security authorities with and requires charterers to cooperate with the provision of such information. The information required is comprehensive specifically because the ISPS Code is fairly vague in this respect, and it remains to be seen how the contracting states will interpret the relevant provisions of the Code. The wording of the clause reflects the issues and types of information national and international authorities have been focusing on with regard to maritime security and security in general.

Subclause 5 dealing with a substitute port has been included in order to avoid, or at least limit, the difficulties faced by the parties in the event of access being denied to a contractual port. There will invariably remain, however, a number of problems arising in such circumstances, and the Committee recognises that whilst the provision tendered is helpful, the parties should not seek to exercise their rights thereunder without first consulting with their P&I Club or seeking independent legal advice. The Committee also recognises that some charterers, and even some owners, may be uncomfortable with the inclusion of such a provision. It should be noted that the overall balance of the clause will not be substantially affected by the removal of Subclause 5; this provision may therefore be treated as optional.

Click here to download a paper giving the following security clauses along with INTERTANKO comments:

  • STB (revised 10 June)
  • Chevron (28-04-04)
  • Vitol
  • SHELL (19/05/2004)
  • BP

It is important that all voyage charters contain an adequate clause dealing with the ISPS Code and other security regulations. There are a number of clauses in the market that appear quite similar at first glance but upon careful reading do contain widely differing provisions as to the allocation of the risk of delay and expenses that a vessel might be faced with even though the owner and vessel are in full compliance with the ISPS Code. Owners that are faced with a situation where they do not have on board an original International Ship Security Certificate will have to consider the charterparty implications with particular care.

Post 1 July it still remains to be seen what attitude ports will take to vessels that have interim security certificates or indeed to vessels that are compliant but have called at non-compliant ports. INTERTANKO is keeping a close watch on developments and our own security clause will kept under review until the impact and application of the maritime security regulations becomes clearer.

Contact: John Fawcett-Ellis

No facsimile copies of ISSCs for US CG

Subsequent to publishing the article under the above heading in WN25/04 dated 18 June 2004, corrected information has been received which aims to clarify the U.S. Coast Guard policy regarding facsimile copies of International Ship Security Certificates (ISSCs). This statement from the US CG (see below) replaces previously published information:

“Coast Guard policy is that you NEED TO HAVE THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATES ONBOARD.  OCMIs and COTPs could possibly accept a faxed copy, after positively verifying the authenticity of the originator, as an alternative but this will only be done on a very limited case-by-case basis just as we presently do with respect to required SOLAS documents not being onboard.  Our Coast Guard policy is you need the original certificates aboard.  If you do not have the original certificates onboard you will be subject to PortState Control action

Further, if you do not have the original Certificates aboard, appropriate port State Control action may very well include termination of cargo operations (restriction of operations), detention of the vessel, or expulsion of the ship from port.   Not having an original ISSC onboard will not be treated as only an administrative deficiency.”

We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience that may have been caused by our earlier article.

Contact:Gunnar A. Knudsen

Source: Holland & Knight LLP, WashingtonDC

US Senate passes Coast Guard Authorization Act

Reference is made to the article published on the US Coast Guard  and security plans in WN15/04 dated 7 April 2004.

The House provision in the Coast Guard Authorization Bill (HR 2443), which the shipping industry strongly opposed (in multiple letters to member of the Conference Committee) in favour of the Senate provision, would require the Coast Guard to approve all foreign vessel security plans. We have learned that, because this issue could not be resolved by the conference committee staff as had been hoped, the issue will be presented to the Conferees for a vote early this week.

In anticipation of that vote a final industry letter has been drafted urging Conferees to vote against the House provision. The letter, among other things, outlines the many arguments against the House provision and cites excerpts from Secretary Ridge's recent letter to the Conferees as well as Admiral Hereth's recent testimony before the House Coast Guard Subcommittee on the subject. 

The letter is fully in line with INTERTANKO’s position on this issue and INTERTANKO is therefore signatory to the letter which was sent as a matter of urgency in order to help the U.S. Senate to put forward their version of the Authorization Bill and remove the House’s version mandating the USCG to approve all foreign flag ships’ ISPS

Contact: Dragos Rauta or Gunnar A. Knudsen


CG letter re law enforcement personnel access

Following is a generic letter prepared by the U.S. Coast Guard expressing its policy regarding access by law enforcement personnel to commercial ships and facilities.  While prompted by the upcoming implementation of maritime security regulations, it is consistent with long-standing agency guidelines.


Dear …
The U.S. Coast Guard is standardizing the process by which law enforcement personnel access commercial vessels and facilities.  As vessels have begun to exercise elements of their security plans as required by the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, certain conflicts have arisen with law enforcement access protocols.  The intent of this letter is two fold, first to clarify procedures that will be followed by all Coast Guard personnel as they access foreign flagged vessels and second, to detail potential actions if properly identified Coast Guard personnel are denied access to a vessel or facility.  This policy has been distributed to Coast Guard commands and will be shared with our partner law enforcement agencies.

Recognizing that maritime security is a shared responsibility, the following steps will be adhered to by a Coast Guard official when attempting to access a commercial vessel or facility:

Verbally provide their name and organizational affiliation,
Present an official government issued ID card at each security checkpoint,
Sign the visitor’s logbook and provide an office contact number if requested, 
Accept an escort if requested.

Coast Guard personnel will fully expect to be approached for an ID check before being granted access to a vessel or facility.  Vessels or facilities that allow access to unidentified law enforcement personnel could be considered to be in violation of the MTSA / ISPS Code, which could prompt immediate corrective actions by the Coast Guard. 

Please note that properly identified law enforcement officials on official business cannot and will not surrender their government issued ID cards or firearms, and will not consent to and are exempt from baggage and government vehicle searches.  Recognizing that some Ship Security Plans may not adequately address the access needs of law enforcement officials, policy has been established and promulgated stating that Coast Guard personnel will not attempt to “test” security procedures by fabricating or refusing to show credentials or by simulating the smuggling of prohibited items in baggage or government vehicles.  If Coast Guard personnel refuse to show proper ID or vessel or facility personnel have doubts about the veracity of a credential, they should immediately contact the cognizant Coast Guard Captain of the Port. 

Law enforcement officers have the right to access vessels and facilities subject to inspection without delay or obstruction.  Further, law enforcement officers have the right to use reasonable force to compel compliance with lawful orders, including orders to permit access.  Swift and decisive actions will be initiated against vessels or facilities if law enforcement personnel are denied access to a facility or vessel after complying with the above procedures.  The remedial actions taken by the Coast Guard may include Captain of the Port operational controls, civil penalties, and potential criminal sanctions.  It should also be noted that the procedures outlined in this letter do not apply to Coast Guard officers accessing vessels or facilities during emergencies or exigent circumstances in the performance of their duties.

We recognize that as we work our way through this initial implementation period for the MTSA and ISPS security requirements, issues will arise that neither security plans nor Administration policies have directly addressed.  The Coast Guard will not be taking immediate action against vessels in circumstances where the vessel security plan conflicts with law enforcement procedures, but we will be recommending that the approved security plan be amended to address proper procedures for dealing with law enforcement officials.


Contact:Gunnar A. Knudsen

US port security improvements

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Fact Sheet entitled Secure Seas, Open Ports. The document summarises the various programmes involved in hardening U.S. port infrastructure, verifying the security of vessels before they approach U.S. ports, and better restricting access to the port area.

In an accompanying Press Release, SecretaryTomRidge stated that domestic vessels and port facilities are on target to meet the July 1 deadline for new security measures.

Source: Holland&Knight, Washington DC

USCG Hawkeye

The US Coast Guard has issued a Fact Sheet that briefly explains its new Hawkeye integrated maritime surveillance system. A prototype is being installed at Group/Marine Safety Office Miami.

Source: Holland&Knight, Washington DC

INTERTANKO helps achieve a smooth ship-shore security interface

INTERTANKO is concerned that all those involved with the implementation, auditing and inspection of ships under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) have a thorough understanding both of the new security regulations, and also of  the requirements which are thereby imposed on inspectors, port state control officials and other shore-based enforcers and which will be asked of them by seafarers in complying with the Code.

It is not just the ships and the ports that must achieve compliance in order for the ISPS Code to work properly. It is also crucial that all those visiting ships, including those enforcing security, also go about their jobs in the spirit of the regulations and as specified in the security plans existing on board and ashore.

There have been instances where over-zealous shore staff have refused to provide identification as required and as requested, insisting on boarding without correct identification. This has been done as a 'test' for the ship's security procedures, with threats to return to their office and leave the ship uncleared if the ship's staff do not do as they ask.

In addition, it is important for shore staff to realise that what have up to now been 'normal' onboard procedures may not now be possible - for instance, some areas of the ship may be restricted and/or locked when in port, with access only permitted if a visitor is accompanied by a member of the ship's staff.

In view of the imminent 1 July implementation date for the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and the US Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), and to pave the way for the smoothest possible transition to the new regulations on maritime security, INTERTANKO has sent out a letter to the various organisations involved in the routine boarding of ships (port state control organisations, oil company inspectors, classification societies, port officials etc) asking them to ensure that all their staff have a clear understanding of the requirements that will be imposed on them, and asked of them, by seagoing staff as they go about complying with the security code.

The Round Table of international shipping associations (BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO) supports the sentiments expressed in this letter. Click here to download a copy.  

Contact:Howard Snaith