International Maritime Organization Security Standards Compared to United States Maritime Security
Over the past thirty years the United States and other countries of trade have made a vow to abide by the rules of the International Convention for the Safety of life at Sea (SOLAS). These rules govern the operations and procedures of all maritime issues. Given the recent horrific incidents of terrorist acts, the vulnerability of maritime security was made obvious. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed that maritime security needed to be revamped. Not only has the IMO revamped its standards; the U.S. has encompassed the new IMO changes on top of stricter standards.
Throughout the last five years the world has seen the most powerful country, the United States, become a victim to terrorism. Whether it was the cowardly acts of September 11, 2001 or the bombing of the U.S. Naval vessel, USS. Cole, the world has acknowledged that terrorism must be stopped.
On December 13, 2002 the IMO, an agency of the United Nations, agreed to make nine amendments to the 1974 SOLAS. These amendments were to be added to Chapter XI (Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Security). The new section was titled International Ship and Port Facility Security code (ISPS). The purpose of the ISPS Code is, "intended to improve security for all ships, persons on board (passengers and crew), off shore terminals and port facilities"(Keith). The ISPS was established with two parts, a mandatory section and a recommendatory section.
The mandatory section provides that all ships must have, "ship security plans, ship security officers, company security officers, and certain onboard equipment" (ISPS). Things of this manor include procedures for threat levels of normal, medium and high. Security officers who are responsible for smooth operations procedures at each security level. Security alarm systems...