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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 industry. 









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