Circular 8/03: IMO International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code

  • Date: 01/06/2003


Dear Sirs


Members will be aware that at a Diplomatic Conference held at IMO in December 2002, amendments to SOLAS were adopted which address certain maritime security issues and establish a new International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

The ISPS Code and the new security provisions of SOLAS will apply to all passenger ships, to cargo ships (including high speed craft) of 500 gt or more, to mobile offshore drilling units, and to port facilities serving such ships engaged on international voyages. All such ships will have to comply with mandatory provisions of the Code by 1st July 2004.

In order to help you give timely consideration to the work required to ensure compliance with the ISPS Code, we enclose a complimentary copy of the International Chamber of Shipping's publication "Guidance on the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code". Members can also access this document, together with other useful security information, through the on-line services of the Association's website. A relevant page provides access to general security resources including texts of key security legislation, details of voluntary security programs, and links to security related sites.

Most shipowners will need some assistance in preparing for compliance with the new regulations, and many will look to a maritime security specialist, compliance specialist, or class society for help. Members may find it useful to be aware that International Maritime Security (IMS), a maritime security firm with almost 20 years experience, has joined forces with consultants Corbett & Holt/Gallagher Marine Services (C&H/GMS) to offer assistance to shipowners in achieving compliance with the ISPS Code. Details of their combined security plan services and charges can be obtained by emailing or by phone: +1-703-836-2200, or fax: +1-703-836-3923.

C&H/GMS/IMS will provide expert advice without charge for UK Club Members in relation to specific technical security compliance enquiries. If you have a technical question and wish to use the service, please contact their security advice line, identifying yourself as a UK Club Member, either by email to, or by telephoning +1 703 836 2200. However, please note this free service is for specific technical queries, and does not extend to chargeable services such as onboard security assessments, training programmes, or full preparation and submission of security plans.

If you have a question about the insurance implications of any security matters, including the ISPS Code, please address this to the managers through your usual contact, or via email to 

Finally, Members should ensure they remain informed as to any requirements set by their relevant flag administrations, and should assume that the deadline dates for compliance will not be extended.

Yours faithfully

Thomas Miller (Bermuda) Ltd.



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