Industry fears knock-on effect on ships serving non compliant ports
INTERPRETING the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code demands a common-sense approach that focuses on security procedures and not on subsequent contamination, according to the TT Club.
The club said members had raised concerns over how the code would work in practice. Members were particularly worried that a breach of security at a port or terminal would make that facility non-compliant and that this could then have a knock-on effect, ships that called there also then deemed non-compliant.
“On this basis, wherever that ship calls subsequently could also then become contaminated, unable to accept other ships without them also becoming contaminated or non-compliant. And so on,” the club warned.
The TT Club has called for common sense in interpreting and applying the ISPS Code.
“Take the example of a bomb scare in a city department store,” the club said. “After a bomb has been found, defused and removed, do the owners of the department store raze it to the ground and build a new in its place? Of course not.
“Similarly, if there is a bomb hoax, does the shop shut its doors forever? No; it searches the store and declares an all clear, which is documented. The key here is the fact that procedures are followed and that they are documented.”
The code states that all security incidents must be recorded, the Port Facility Security Plan retaining all records of security incidents and threats. Under the code’s security level 3, the port or terminal must comply with instructions from those responding to the security incident or threat. The PFSP should detail the security measures to be taken by the port or terminal.
The TT Club argued that it made sense, in the event of a security incident in a port, for the site in question to go automatically to level 3. Assuming that the PFSP was completed properly, the port or terminal would then have fulfilled its responsibilities.
“Since a recognised security organisation will have approved and tested the implementation of the plan, there should be little doubt that the requirements of the code have been followed,” the club said.
“Once the responders to the security incident have given the all clear and this has been documented by the port facility then the port facility is open for business. However, at no time, despite the occurrence of a security incident, is the port facility in breach of the ISPS Code – it has done everything required of it.
“Therefore, while this cannot be taken as a legal opinion, the pragmatic answer is that this type of contamination should not occur in the anticipated operation of the ISPS Code.”