Tuesday, 27 November 2012


Why is Port Safety so important? 

Most, if not all, navigable rivers, channels, ports, harbours and berths are subject to danger from, for example, tides, currents, swells, banks, bars or revetments, traffic density and changes in depths. Such dangers are frequently minimized by lights, buoys, signals, warnings and other aids to navigation and can normally be met and overcome by proper navigation and the handling of a vessel in accordance with good seamanship. The reputation of a Port is largely dependent on its safety record and its efficiency. Any damage to a port’s safety record will impact on its reputation and by extension, its trade.

In the past, port security was concerned with deterring theft, the passage of illegal immigrants and countering smuggling and contraband. Some smaller ports had no security measures of any importance and the public was free to walk on the wharves. Other, larger ports, had their own police forces. Even they were not concerned with matters other then theft. In other countries, ports were considered military installations and therefore, security came as no surprise to their administrations. 

But to the rest of the port world, security first began to be a major topic of concern when the ISPS Code was introduced a year after the 9/11 attacks in the USA in 2001. Globally, threat levels were raised to red alert and authorities at ports and airports were forced to scrutinize their security apparatus.

The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) is intended to provide improved protection from terrorist attacks for all port facilities receiving seagoing ships larger than 500 Gross Ton on international routes.

source: www.harbourmaster.org

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