What is the ISPS Code?
The IMO’s International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (“ISPS Code”) was
adopted by the international shipping community on 1 July 2004 to create a
consistent security framework for all commercial ships worldwide. It requires
every ship and port to have an independent assessment of its security, to have
a comprehensive set of security plans, and to exercise those plans regularly.
Crucially, it also requires them to conduct assessments of their security.
Ships which have not assessed their security, or which have recently a port
which is not ISPS-compliant, is likely to be denied entry to all reputable
ports. The United States Coastguard, in particular, takes a very robust line
with such ships. Non-compliance therefore clearly has a major effect on
operations and profitability in what is already a keenly competitive