What is ISPS?
The ISPS Code, short for International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities. Developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, the ISPS Code is part of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. It is mandatory for all countries party to the SOLAS Convention.
The ISPS Code is a two-part document describing the responsibilities of governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel. It sets out a framework for identifying and evaluating security threats and implementing adequate measures. The main objectives of the ISPS Code are to detect security threats and implement security measures, establish roles and responsibilities, collect and exchange security information, provide a methodology for security assessments, and ensure that adequate security measures are in place.
Under the ISPS Code, ships and port facilities are required to conduct regular security assessments and develop security plans. These plans must be approved by the respective administration and should detail the measures to be taken at each security level.