MARITIME SECURITY - AMENDMENTS TO SOLAS 74 ADOPTED BY THE IMO DIPLOMATIC CONFERENCE ON MARITIME SECURITY HELD IN LONDON IN DECEMBER 2002

Maritime Security Notices,Shipping Circulars
No. 3 of 2003

12 Mar 2003

Applicable to: Shipowners, shipmanagers, masters and officers of Singapore ships. This circular highlights the essential elements of the amendments to SOLAS 74 adopted by the IMO Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security held in London in December 2002. These amendments are expected to come into force on 1 July 2004.

  1. The IMO Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security held in London in December 2002 adopted several amendments to SOLAS 74. These amendments include the introduction of Maritime Security into SOLAS 74, which is a Chapter by itself. The amendments are expected to come into force on 1 July 2004.

  2. The essential elements of the amendments are as follows:

    (a) the staggered deadlines for the carriage of AIS (Automatic Identification System) for ships of less than 50,000 gross tonnage engaged on international voyages other than passenger ships and tankers have been brought forward to the date of first safety equipment survey after 1 July 2004 or by 31 December 2004, whichever occurs earlier.

    (b) The existing Chapter XI (Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety) has been re-numbered Chapter XI-1.

    (c) The ship's identification number, which is the IMO Number, is to be permanently marked in two places as follows (Reg XI-1/3.4):

    (i) either on the stern of the ship or on either side of the hull, amidships port and starboard, or on either side of the superstructure, port and starboard or on the front of the superstructure, or in the case of passenger ships, on a horizontal surface visible from the air;

    (ii) either on one of the end transverse bulkheads of the machinery spaces or on one of the hatchways or, in the case of tankers, in the pump-room or, in the case of ships with ro-ro spaces, on one of the end transverse bulkheads of the ro-ro spaces. Ships constructed before 1 July 2004 have to comply with this requirement not later than the first scheduled dry-docking of the ship after 1 July 2004.

    (d) Ships are required to carry on board a Continuous Synopsis Record, which is intended to provide an on-board record of the history of the ship with respect to the information recorded therein. This record will be issued by the Registry of Ships. (Reg XI-1/5)

    (e) A new Chapter on maritime security is added. This is Chapter XI-2, titled "Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Security".

  3. Chapter XI-2 is applicable to ships engaged on international voyages and the companies operating the ships and to port facilities serving ships engaged on international voyages. Supplementary to this Chapter is the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code which has two parts, A and B. Part A is mandatory and Part B is to be used as a guide and treated as recommendatory.

  4. The following is a brief summary of the provisions and requirements of Chapter XI-2:

    (a) The concept of security level is introduced. There are 3 security levels, namely, Security Level 1, Security Level 2, and Security Level 3, defined in the ISPS Code.

    (b) Flag States will set security level for their ships.

    (c) Port States will set security level for their port facilities.

    (d) A ship, when prior to entering a port or while in the port, is required to comply with the security level of the Flag State or the Port State, whichever is the higher.

    (e) The master is required to have information on board concerning persons or organisations responsible for the appointment and employment of crew members of the ship.

    (f) Ships constructed on or after 1 July 2004 are required to be provided with a ship security alert system. With respect to ships constructed before 1 July 2004, the ship security alert system is required to be provided by the following deadlines:

    (i) passenger ships, including high-speed passenger craft, not later than the first survey of the radio installation after 1 July 2004;

    (ii) oil tankers, chemical tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers and cargo high-speed craft, of 500 gross tonnage and upwards, not later than the first survey of the radio installation after 1 July 2004;

    (iii) other cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards and mobile offshore drilling units (MODU), not later than the first survey of the radio installation after 1 July 2006.

    (g) Ships are subjected to Port State Control with respect to compliance with Chapter XI-2. The Port State Control inspection in this respect is limited to verifying that there is on board a valid International Ship Security Certificate (ISS Certificate) issued under the provisions of Part A of the ISPS Code. However, when a valid ISS Certificate cannot be produced or when there are clear grounds for believing that the ship is not in compliance with the requirements of Chapter XI-2 or Part A of the ISPS Code, certain control measures may be taken against the ships. Such control measures are:
    inspection of the ship,
    delaying the ship,
    detention of the ship,
    restriction of operations including movement within the port, or
    expulsion of the ship from port.

    (h) A Port State may require that ships intending to enter its ports provide information to ensure compliance with Chapter XI-2 prior to entry into port with the aim of avoiding the need to impose control measures. The include:

    (i) possession of a valid ISS Certificate and the issuing authority;

    (ii) the security level of the ship;

    (iii) the security level the ship operated in previous ports in the last 10 calls at those ports;

    (iv) any special or additional security measures taken in those previous port calls;

    (v) appropriate ship security procedures taken during ship to ship activity in those previous port calls;

    (vi) other practical security related information (but not details of the ship security plan). If so requested by the Port State, the ship or the Company operating the ship is required to provide confirmation of the above information in the form acceptable to the Port State.

    (i) The master of a ship has the overriding authority and the responsibility to make decisions and measures with respect to the safety and security of the ship.

  5. Part A of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is mandatory for the purpose of compliance with Chapter XI-2. The following provisions and requirements are prescribed in the ISPS Code:

    (a) A ship is required to carry on board a ship security plan approved by the Flag State on the basis of a ship security assessment.

    (b) The Company operating a ship shall designate a Company Security Officer (CSO) for the ship. However, a person designated as the CSO may act as the Company Security Officer for one or more ships, depending on the number or types of ships the Company operates provided it is clearly identified for which ships this person is responsible with respect to Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code.

    (c) Each ship is required to have a designated Ship Security Officer (SSO).

    (d) The CSO, the SSO, appropriate shore-based personnel and shipboard personnel having specific security duties and responsibilities are required to undergo training in maritime security in accordance with the guidance given in Part B of the ISPS Code.

    (e) Drills and exercises with respect to the ship security plan are required to be carried out at appropriate intervals by all parties concerned with the ship security plan. The CSO and appropriate shore-based personnel are also required to participate in the drills and exercises to ensure effective shore-ship co-ordination with respect to the ship security plan.

    (f) A ship, after a verification that the ship complies with Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code will be issued an International Ship Security Certificate (ISS Certificate) valid for a period not exceeding 5 years. Within the 5-year validity period of the ISS Certificate, the ship is required to have an intermediate verification which will be endorsed on the ISS Certificate.

  6. A ship is required to act upon the security levels set by the Port State or the Flag State, whichever is appropriate by carrying out the activities prescribed in the ISPS Code with the aim of identifying and taking preventive measures against security incidents. Security incidents is defined in Chapter XI-2 as "any suspicious act or circumstance threatening the security of the ship, including a mobile offshore drilling unit and a high speed craft, or of a port facility or of any ship/port interface or any ship to ship activity".

  7. Port Facilities to which Chapter XI-2 applies are required to develop and maintain a port facility security plan on the basis of a port facility security assessment. These facilities are also required to designate port facility security officers who, together with appropriate port facility security personnel, are required to undergo training in maritime security in accordance with the guidance given in Part B of the ISPS Code. They are also required to conduct drills and exercises with respect to the port facility security plan.

  8. A copy of the International Code for the Security of Ships and of Port Facilities can be found in our website.
    Any queries relating to this circular should be directed to Mr. Tan Leong Beng at 6375 6207.

    LEE SENG KONG
    DIRECTOR OF MARINE
    MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE