CoC Oral Exam Preparation (Part-7) – Maritime Security

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When do the security measures come into force ?

– 1st July, 2004.

SOLAS amendments adopted in December 2002 :

Chapter V:
– Automated Identifications Systems(AIS)

Chapter XI-1:
-Ship identification number
-Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)

Chapter XI-2:
-Measures to enhance maritime security
-International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code (Parts A & B)

Automatic identification systems (AIS)

– The requirement became effective for all ships by 31 December 2004.
– In 2000, IMO adopted a new requirement (as part of a revised new chapter V) for all ships to carry automatic identification systems (AIS) capable of providing information about the ship to other ships and to coastal authorities automatically.
– AIS to be fitted aboard all ships≥300 gross tonnage engaged on international voyages,
– cargo ships≥ 500 gross tonnage not engaged on international voyages
– all passenger ships irrespective of size.

The regulation requires that AIS shall:
1. Provide information – including the ship’s identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status and other safety-related information – automatically to appropriately equipped shore stations, other ships and aircraft;
2. Receive automatically such information from similarly fitted ships; monitor and track ship
3. Exchange data with shore-based facilities.

Ship Identification Number

In December 2002, the Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security adopted a number of measures aimed at enhancing security of ships and port facilities. This included a modification to SOLAS Regulation XI-1/3 to require ships’ identification numbers to be permanently marked in a visible place either on the ship’s hull or superstructure. Passenger ships should carry the marking on a horizontal surface visible from the air. Ships should also be marked with their ID numbers internally.

  • The IMO ship identification number is made of the three letters “IMO” followed by the seven-digit number assigned to all ships by IHS Fairplay (formerly known as Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay) when constructed.
  • The IMO number is never reassigned to another vessel and is shown on the ship’s certificates.
  • This number is assigned to the total portion of the hull enclosing the machinery space and is the determining factor should additional sections be added.
  • The number should Permanently marked and visible on:

* stern or side of hull or superstructure
* horizontal surface for passenger vessels

  • Contrasting color with the alphabet size not less than 200 mm; width proportionate to height and raised lettering or by cutting it into or center punching (or other equivalent)
  • This is a unique seven digit number that is assigned to propelled, sea-going merchant ships of 100 GT and above upon keel laying with the exception of the following:

– Vessels solely engaged in fishing
– Ships without mechanical means of propulsion
– Pleasure yachts
– Ships engaged on special service (e.g. lightships, SAR vessels)
– Hopper barges
– Hydrofoils, air cushion vehicles
– Floating docks and structures classified in a similar manner
– Ships of war and troopships
– Wooden ships

Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)

  • To be issued by the Administration to each ship under its flag
  • In case of changes, Administration to issue amended record
  • To be kept on board and available for inspection at all times
  • Basic diary of ship or historical record of ship – Issued by Administration, but must be maintained and updated onboard and left onboard with change of ownership or registry.
  • Information should be included in CSR:

* name of flag state
* date of registry
* ship’s ID number
* name of owners
* name of registered demise charterers
* name of shipping company
* name of classification society(ies)
* name of authorities or associations issuing certifications

Ship Security Alert System

  • Required to be provided on all ships constructed on or after 1 July 2004 and ships constructed before 1 July 2004 :

– Oil & chemical tankers, gas & bulk carriers, and cargo HS craft, of equal or more than 500 GT; Passenger ships including HS passenger craft; not later than the 1st survey of radio installation after 1 July 2004

–  other cargo ships of equal or more than 500 GT and mobile offshore drilling units; not later than the 1st survey of radio installation after 1 July 2006

  • Shall initiate & transmit alert to a competent authority designated by administration
  • Shall identify ship, its location and indicate that ship’s security is under threat
  • Shall not send the alert to any other ship nor raise alarm on board
  • Shall continue the alert until deactivated or reset
  • Have activation possible from bridge & at least one other location
  • Performance standard; not necessarily requires new
    equipment installation (eg. Piracy alarm)
  • It’s a security silent ship-to-shore alert
    * activated from bridge and at least one other location
    * not heard by other ships
    * include name and location of ship
  • Protected from inadvertent initiation
  • Administration or coastal state notification requirements

ISPS Code:

The Code provides for considerable flexibility to allow for required security measures to be adjusted to meet the assessed risks facing particular ships or port facilities.

It has two Parts:

  • Part A containing mandatory provisions covering the appointment of security officers for shipping companies, individual ships and port facilities. It also includes security matters to be covered in security plans to be prepared in respect of ships and port facilities; and
  • Part B containing guidance and recommendations on preparing ship and port facility security plans.

Maritime Security (MarSec) Levels:

The ISPS Code contains three security levels. The security level will be set by the Contracting Government (CG).

The three levels are:

  • Security Level 1, normal; the level at which ships and port facilities normally operate.

–  This will mean that minimum protective security measures shall be maintained at all times.

  • Security Level 2, heightened; the level applying for as long as there is a heightened risk of a security incident.

–  This means the level for which appropriate additional protective security measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk of a security incident.

  • Security Level 3, exceptional; the level applying for the period of time when there is a probable or imminent risk of a security incident.

–  This means the level for which further specific protective security measures shall be maintained for a limited period of time when a security incident is probable or imminent, although it may not be possible to identify the specific target.

Written by Mohammud Hanif Dewan, IEng, IMarEng, MIMarEST, MRINA

Mohammud Hanif Dewan, IEng, IMarEng, MIMarEST, MRINA

Working as the Deputy Commandant at LMTI, Liberia and Assistant Consultant at IMO. Worked as the Lecturer at ALAM Malaysia, IMA & CMC Bangladesh. Sailed as Chief Engineer on board various types of Tankers in multinational companies. Also worked as a consultant for developing and preparation of new syllabuses of marine engineering pre-sea and post-sea courses of Department of Shipping, Bangladesh as per STCW 2010 Manila Amendments. Writer of maritime articles. Researcher on Energy Efficiency in Shipping Industry, UTM, Malaysia.