Inspection of Member States on Maritime Security

Following the tragic events of 11 September 2001 for the maritime community the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in December 2002 adopted new international maritime security requirements in the SOLAS Convention 1974, new Chapter XI-2, and a new International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code which came into force in July 2004.

Prior to that, the maritime industry had been broadly evaluating security at its facilities and voluntarily taking actions to improve security as deemed appropriate based on shipping trade area, geographic location, potential risk to people and the surrounding communities, and potential risk attacks.

The EU Member States agreed the need for measures at Community level and to achieve this, Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 of 31 March 2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security was adopted. The main objective of the Regulation is to implement Community measures aimed at enhancing ship and port facility security in the face of the threats posed by international unlawful acts. This Regulation takes into account amendments to the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (the SOLAS Convention) and the establishment of the ISPS Code.

In order to monitor the application by Member States of the Regulation and to verify the effectiveness of the security measures at Member State level, in 2005 the Commission adopted Regulation (EC) No. 884/2005 laying down procedures for conducting inspections in the field of maritime security. On the 9 April 2008, Commission adopted Regulation (EC) No. 324/2008 laying down revised procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of maritime security, which also included ‘procedures for the monitoring by the Commission of the implementation of Directive 2005/65/EC...’.

EMSA's mandate is set out in its Founding Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002, as amended, and is to provide technical assistance to the Commission and to the EFTA Surveillance Authority in the performance of their inspection tasks. In providing this technical assistance, EMSA is making technical experts available to participate in maritime security inspections, including the related preparatory and reporting phases.

In preparation for the inspections, EMSA’s inspectors conduct a detailed analysis of the relevant national provisions adopted to implement the Regulation. Once in the Member State being inspected, the inspection programme is carried out with the cooperation of the competent authority for maritime security of the Member State concerned. Coupled with the inspection of the Member State Administration, inspections are also carried out in port facilities, ships berthed at those port facilities, shipping companies and/or in the offices of recognised security organisations. These allow inspectors in verifying the maritime security system in place, including the systems and procedures the Member States have put in place; their procedures and practical arrangements for carrying out administrative and control tasks; and the human resources they have assigned to the different tasks.

EMSA also contributes to the continued updating and enhancement of the methodology on performing maritime security inspections.

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