IMO Is Developing a Maritime Security Manual

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN’s specialized agency for shipping in general and maritime transportation security in particular, is developing a “Port and Ship Security Manual” for “Contracting Governments, Ship operators and other persons who have to implement” SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship & Port Facility (ISPS) Code. Thus far it appears that a draft manual has been produced and presented to the “IMO Peer Review Group” for review. Presumably comments from the Group’s review will be factored into a revised draft that will be presented to the Maritime Safety Committee for review and circulation to IMO member governments before actual adoption.
According to a document posted on the IMO website, under “Our Work,” the Manual is intended to provide “a consolidated source of guidance” for “security practitioners” in government organizations that oversee implementation of “the Maritime Security Measures” and those in government and industry organizations responsible for implementing those Measures. Because only the Manual’s Table of Contents has been posted on the IMO website, it’s too early to tell how well the Manual will realize its purpose. Based on that six-page outline, however, it looks like a creditable effort is being made to “cover the waterfront.” On the other hand, although the Table of Contents presents some intriguing subjects, the page allocation suggests that coverage of any particular topic will not be very deep.
The Manual is divided into five Sections: Introduction (five pages), Security Responsibilities of Governments and their National Authorities (49 pages, plus 39 pages of appendices), Security Responsibilities of Port and Port Facility Operators (18 pages, plus 45 pages of appendices), Security Responsibilities of Ship Operators (29 pages, plus 84 pages of appendices), and Security Assessment Methodology for ports, port facilities and ships (9 pages, plus 3 or so pages of appendices).
The Section on Security Responsibilities of Governments covers matters ranging from organizations and coordinating mechanisms within governments to specific responsibilities related to Security Levels, port security, and ship security to Control and Compliance Measures to training of government officials (including discussion of a Code of Conduct) to the necessary elements of national implementing legislation. The Appendices to this section provide sample forms and checklists, a core training curriculum elements for government officials, and a “Generic Code of Conduct” for them.
Section 3, Security Responsibilities of Port and Port Facility Operators has a one page overview, followed by discussions of the Security Framework, Security Levels, Security Personnel, Port Facility Security Assessments, Port Facility Security Plans, PFSP Implementation, Statements of Compliance, Security Awareness Programs, and Guidelines for non-SOLAS Marinas, Ports & Harbours. The discussions of PFSAs and PFSPs are each only about two pages long. Implementation of security plans is discussed in about four pages, with a rather interesting set of topics selected for highlighting: Planning and Conducting Drills and Exercises, Reporting Security Incidents, Information Security, Shore Access for and On-board Visits to Seafarers, and Conducting Self-Assessments. Among the 10 appendices are a 14-page Template for Preparing a PFSP, Internet Sources of Guidance Material on Preparing, Updating & Implementing PFSPs, the table of contents of Manual of Maritime Security Drills & Exercises for Port Facilities, and separate Implementation Checklists for Port Facility Operators (11 pages) and for Port Operators (three pages).
The organization of Section 4 on Security Responsibilities of Ship Operators largely parallels that of Section 3, although there is an additional subsection on Ship Security Communications, which covers the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), Automatic Identification Systems, Long Range Identification and Tracking, and Pre-Arrival Information. The subsection on implementing security plans does not highlight information security, but covers two topics not referenced in the equivalent subsection of Section 3: Maintaining On-board Records and Reporting Failures and Suspensions. In addition, Access to ships and Shore leave and access to shore-based facilities by seafarers are discussed separately. There are 16 appendices, many of which are the ship equivalents of those found in Section 3. Notable differences include appendices on SSAS, pre-arrival information, forms related to the Continuous Synopsis Record, “Websites showing Security Awareness Programs,” and “General information on good security practices for all non-SOLAS vessel operators.” Additionally, instead of a security plan template, there is a 21-page Template for Ship Security Assessment and there is no appendix related to shipboard maritime security drills and exercises.
The Manual concludes with a Section on Security Assessment Methodology that includes an introduction and discussions of Pre-Assessment Steps, Methodology Selection, and the various Phases of Security Assessment: Threat Assessment, Impact Assessment, Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Scoring, and Risk Management. The three appendices, each approximately one page long, cover Internet Sources of Security Assessment Methodologies, Practical Application of a Methodology for Port Facilities, and the same for SOLAS Ships. NOTE: This post may be copied, distributed, and displayed and derivative works may be based on it, provided it is attributed to Maritime Transportation Security News and Views by John C. W. Bennett,
By Professional Mariner Staff