Having entered into force under SOLAS chapter XI-2, on 1 July 2004, the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) has since formed the basis for a comprehensive mandatory security regime for international shipping. The Code is divided into two sections, Part A and Part B. Mandatory Part A outlines detailed maritime and port security-related requirements which SOLAS contracting governments, port authorities and shipping companies must adhere to, in order to be in compliance with the Code. Part B of the Code provides a series of recommendatory guidelines on how to meet the requirements and obligations set out within the provisions of Part A.

The main objectives of the ISPS Code include:

Establishment of an international framework that fosters cooperation between Contracting Governments, Government agencies, local administrations and the shipping and port industries, in assessing and detecting potential security threats to ships or port facilities used for international trade, so as to implement preventive security measures against such threats

  • determining the respective roles and responsibilities of all parties concerned with safeguarding maritime security in ports and on board ships, at the national, regional and international levels;
  • to ensure that there is early and efficient collation and exchange of maritime security-related information, at national, regional and international levels;
  • to provide a methodology for ship and port security assessments, which facilitates the development of ship, company and port facility security plans and procedures, which must be utilised to respond to ships’ or ports’ varying security levels; and
  • to ensure that adequate and proportionate maritime security measures are in place on board ships and in ports.

In order to achieve the above objectives, SOLAS contracting governments, port authorities and shipping companies are required, under the ISPS Code, to designate appropriate security officers and personnel, on each ship, port facility and shipping company. These security officers, designated Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs), Ship Security Officers (SSOs) and Company Security Officers (CSOs), are charged with the duties of assessing, as well as preparing and implementing effective security plans that are able to manage any potential security threat.

Copyright IMO ( https://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Security/Pages/SOLAS-XI-2%20ISPS%20Code.aspx)