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EC eyes extension of security measures to non-ISPS vessels

Written by Nick Blenkey

sentineleyeThe European Commission Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport has appointed Sentinel Maritime of the U.K. to study the impact of extending security measures to ships that do not currently fall within the scope of SOLAS Chapter XI/2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

The study has been given the name “Project SecureSeas.” In part, it is a response to the growing concern that “non-ISPS” ships may pose as serious or more serious a threat than those covered by the code. Apart from the terrorist attacks carried out by “non-ISPS” vessels on the “USS Cole” and “MT Limburg”, or their use in the attack on Mumbai, such ships  are frequently used in human trafficking as well as smuggling drugs and contraband.

(including the financial consequences)

As a first step, Sentinel will assess the current situation in EU and will collate information on member state procedures for registering vessels, the means for reporting security concerns and the numbers and distribution of vessels that could be covered by any new regulations. The study will examine the possibility of introducing a computerized register of ships which might include recreational/pleasure vessels as well as commercial vessels.

Sentinel will also study the potential application within the EU of the guidelines adopted by tIMO in December 2008.that  use the framework of the ISPS Code to recommend best practice for non-ISPS operators and by security authorities when dealing with non-ISPS vessels. These guidelines recognize four categories of vessels, each with different risk profiles and best practice risk management procedures.

  • commercial non-passenger and special purpose vessels;
  • passenger vessels;
  • fishing vessels; and
  • pleasure craft.

The study is placing a special emphasis on recreational/pleasure ships with a view to assessing the impact and feasibility of changes to the registration process of non-SOLAS ships, and the benefits offered by a computerized database for the registration of non-SOLAS ships.

Extending security requirements to non-commercial pleasure boats,  would have a significant impact on a large number of stakeholders and Sentinel is reaching out to the boating community for its input via a new website that will allow stakeholders to share their views and to add to the body of knowledge available. By taking part and sharing data and information through www.secureseas.net the shipping, boating and maritime industry stakeholders within the EU can help protect their borders while safeguarding their commercial interests and their rights to the boating experience they deserve, says Sentinel.

June 14, 2011

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