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Maritime security: Ship and port facility security

The recent past has taught us that no country in the world is safe from terrorist acts, and shipping is no exception to this rule. Measures are needed to ensure the security of maritime transport, of the citizens using it and of the environment in the face of threats of intentional unlawful acts such as terrorism at all times. If the cargoes shipped contain hazardous substances, unlawful acts of this kind could have far-reaching consequences for citizens and the environment in the EU.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security [See amending act(s)].

SUMMARY

The main objective of this regulation is to implement European Union (EU) measures aimed at enhancing the security of ships and port facilities in the face of threats of intentional unlawful acts.

The regulation is intended to provide a basis for the harmonised interpretation and implementation and EU monitoring of the special measures to enhance maritime security adopted by the Diplomatic Conference of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2002, which amended the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention) and established the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).

The amendments to the SOLAS Convention and Part A of the ISPS Code are mandatory, but subject to interpretation. Part B of the Code consists of recommendations which the EU countries are called on to implement.

This regulation contains preventive measures and transposes the part of the SOLAS Convention on special measures to enhance maritime security and, at the same time, the ISPS Code, two of the cornerstones of maritime security at world level.

EU countries are required to communicate to the IMO, the Commission and the other EU countries the information requested and the special measures adopted to enhance maritime security under the SOLAS Convention.

Alongside this, each EU country must draw up the list of port facilities concerned on the basis of the port facility security assessments carried out and establish the scope of the measures taken to enhance maritime security. This list must be communicated to the other EU countries and to the Commission by 1 July 2004 at the latest.

EU countries must vigorously monitor compliance with the security rules by ships intending to enter an EU port, whatever their origin.

Security checks in the port may be carried out by the competent maritime security authorities of the EU countries, but also, as regards the international ship security certificate, by inspectors acting in the framework of port State control, as provided for in Directive 95/21/EC.

When a ship announces its intention to enter a port in an EU country, the competent maritime security authority of that country should demand that the information be provided at least 24 hours in advance or, if the voyage time is less than 24 hours, at the latest at the time the ship leaves the previous port or, if the port of call is not known, as soon as the port of call becomes known.

EU countries are required to designate a focal point for maritime security by 1 July 2004 at the latest. This authority should require each ship intending to enter port to provide, in advance, information concerning its international ship security certificate and the levels of safety at which it operates and has previously operated.

EU countries are required to apply the new security measures to international shipping and, by 1 July 2005, to Class A passenger ships operating domestic services.

After a security risk assessment, EU countries must decide the extent to which they will apply, by 1 July 2007, the provisions of this regulation to other categories of ships operating domestic services, their companies and the port facilities serving them.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 725/2004

19.5.2004

-

OJ L 129 of 29.4.2004

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

-

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 324/2008 of 9 April 2008 laying down revised procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of maritime security [Official Journal L 98 of 10.4.2008].
The Commission carries out security inspections at port facilities and companies in EU countries. These inspections are prepared with assistance from the European Maritime Safety Agency and are conducted by inspectors from the EU countries. The Commission must send its inspection report within six weeks of the completion of an inspection. Such reports must detail the findings of the inspection and identify any non-conformity with Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 or Directive 2005/65/EC. They may also contain recommendations for corrective action. The EU country concerned must reply within three months, providing an action plan, specifying actions and deadlines, to remedy any identified shortcomings.

Last updated: 22.02.2011
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