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The ISPS Code and Modern Maritime Security

BluHistorically, maritime security guidelines and best practices have evolved in response to incidents or issues that have resulted in a clear gap in the provision of the procedural core function, security. In this Metis Insights we ask, should further adaptions be made?

The ISPS Code has made a significant, positive difference to maritime security, bringing about formalized and standardized maritime security for ships and ports with clear enforcement systems and extensive guidelines for implementation, regulation, and designation of responsibility. However, in its current form, the code does not adequately account for the nuance of the multidimensional, varying, and evolving nature of risk in the maritime industry. This is less the result of inadequate planning, but reflective of the ever-evolving nature of risk. Informed parties would be hard pushed to debate the legitimacy of the ISPS Code, however increasingly there are questions regarding its relevance within the contemporary security environment.  

Advisory and certification services

Like safety, maritime security is of paramount importance to the operation of a vessel. The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code came into force on July 1, 2004, and is applicable to all vessels over 500 get operate on international trades, as well as the ports that service them.

We have played a proactive role in helping the industry to implement the ISPS Code and offer a full range of statutory certification services to help you maintain compliance. We also offer ISPS training courses.

The ISPS Code For Ships - An Essential Quick Guide

What is the ISPS Code?

The ISPS Code provides a framework through which ships and port facilities can co-operate to detect and deter acts that pose a threat to maritime security. The Code:

  • enables the detection and deterrence of security threats within an international framework
  • establishes roles and responsibilities
  • enables collection and exchange of security information
  • provides a methodology for assessing security
  • ensures that adequate security measures are in place.


It requires ship and port facility staff to:

  • gather and assess information
  • maintain communication protocols
  • restrict access, prevent the introduction of unauthorized weapons, etc.
  • provide the means to raise alarms
  • put in place vessel and port security plans and ensure training and drills are conducted.
  • The regulatory provisions do not extend to the actual response to security incidents or to any necessary clean-up activities after such an incident.

How can Lloyd’s Register help?

  • We can provide you with expert security advice delivered at a level that suits your needs.
  • You receive the assistance you need to develop and implement an effective security management system that meets the requirements of the Code.

Economy for ships

If the ISPS Code applies to your ship, it must have an International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) in order to operate. As a Recognised Security Organisation for the major flag administrations, we can carry out security plan approvals and verification audits, leading to the issue of an ISSC for your ship.

Advisory services for port operators

The ISPS Code requires that security assessments are carried out and that security plans are developed. Because no two ports or port facilities are the same, we will work with you to develop the most efficient and cost-effective range of advisory services suited to your organization.

Port and port facilities can be very complex. We can provide you with a gap analysis against the requirements necessary to achieve compliance with the ISPS Code and national requirements. Our analysis will identify the training needs of your sports facility security officers (PFSOs) and others, and describe how to develop port facility security assessments (PFSAs) where applicable, and port facility security plans (PFSPs) for approval by contracting governments.

You may be able to use the gap analysis as the basis for an action plan, enabling you to develop your PFSP in-house. Should you require further assistance, we can work with you to develop a package that is tailored to your specific needs.

Maritime Security Management & Control as per ISPS Code Course | PetroKnowledge

Training services for CSOs, SSOs, and PFSOs

Required by some flag administrations, although not specifically required by the Code, is the need for security management training. We have developed programs for the company, ship, and port facility security officers, details of which can be provided on request.


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