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Maritime security

The spiraling cost of maritime security

Over the past decade the cost of maritime security has spiraled upwards. As well as the physical cost of extra equipment and additional personnel, the amount of time involved in planning and implementing these measures has pushed up annual expenditure on port facilities and shipping lines worldwide.

Before 11 September 2001 port security was an important but still a relatively minor activity. Today it has become perhaps the single most important element in the day-to-day operation of vessels and maritime facilities. It influences everything the port does, from admitting workers and vehicles to the port to tracking cargo, to checking vessel history and ports of call.

The International Ship & Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is part of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and compliance is mandatory for the 148 countries that are part of SOLAS. For others it is a voluntary but very necessary requirement. Any port or vessel that is not ISPS compliant is at an immediate disadvantage when trading with some countries.


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