IMO's Global Programme on Maritime and Port Security - the work continues

Technical Co-operation Committee - 54th session: 15-17 June 2004

IMO's US$2.5 million Global Programme on Maritime and Port Security, which began in January 2002, will not stop on 1 July 2004, the international deadline for implementation of the maritime security measures adopted by IMO in December 2002, the Organization's Technical Co-operation Committee was told when it opened its 54th session on 15 June.

Total expenditure on the Programme to date is US$2,525,304. Worldwide activities have included 18 regional and 42 national seminars/workshops. Some 3,320 people have been trained across the ports of the developing regions and they are now putting into place the practical security mechanisms necessary to thwart the terrorist attacks to ships and ports in their countries.

The steady stream of requests to the Organization for technical assistance in the field of maritime and port security shows no sign of slowing. And that demand from Member States for practical assistance in the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and other security measures adopted by IMO is expected to continue.

To support this, a new Train-the-Trainer programme has been developed which will assist Governments to strengthen their maritime security implementation through the provision of trained instructors capable of delivering quality training at regional and national levels using relevant IMO Model Courses.

The Train-the-Trainer programme will start in the second half of the 2004, initially in the Asia and Pacific region. The target audience will be instructors from national maritime training institutions responsible for the conduct of maritime security training courses.

The results of the Global Programme to date reveal the scope of work which each country and region has had to address if they are to comply with the ISPS Code. While the initial work in the Programme focussed on raising awareness of maritime security threats, has now been adapted to place more emphasis on specific operational measures which need to be taken to safeguard the security of passengers and crews.

The Programme's success and continuation depends, inevitably, on funding to be made available to support those further training activities. An International Maritime Security Trust Fund (IMSTF) has been established, on the basis of voluntary donations, and the IMO Secretary-General has appealed to Governments and industry to make contributions to the Fund which will support the Programme over the coming biennium.


IMO launched its global technical co-operation programme on maritime security in January 2002, 11 months before the IMO Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security adopted amendments to the SOLAS Convention and the related International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) in December 2002.

The aim of the global programme initially was to raise awareness of maritime security threats and of the possible future regulatory measures that were being developed at that stage. Activities carried out during 2002 included the development of lesson plans and manuals and the delivery of sub-regional seminars, workshops and advisory missions. A total of eight sub-regional seminars or workshops were conducted.

Since the adoption of the ISPS Code in December 2002, training materials have been updated twice in order to place more emphasis on practical approaches to implementation of the new regulatory regime, with particular attention on the preparation of port facility security assessments and plans. Furthermore, to provide a dedicated source of financial support for the maritime security technical co-operation activities and, in particular, for national initiatives in the developing regions, a Maritime Security Trust Fund has been established. In addition, IMO has developed and published model courses for Ship Security Officers, Company Security Officers and Port Facility Security Officers.

IMO is currently in the process of commissioning the production of a training package, which will incorporate relevant elements of the SOLAS amendments, the ISPS Code, the IMO model course for Port Facility Security Officers (No. 3.21) and the ILO/IMO Code of Practice on Security in Ports, which is set to be approved by both organizations during 2004. The training package is likely to incorporate a CD-ROM containing video-clips, written materials and inter-active, web-based links.

The objective of the "Train-the-Trainer" programme is to assist Governments to strengthen regulatory implementation by enlarging the pool of trained instructors capable of delivering high quality maritime security training at the national and regional level, using IMO's updated training package and its three model courses for security officers. The programme will seek to identify potential instructors from Member States and the industry who, following initial training through IMO, can return to their countries and regions and train other instructors.

Following the terrorist attacks on the United States of America on 11 September 2001, the United Nations, through Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), called on the international community to redouble efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, including full implementation of the anti-terrorist conventions.

In response, IMO adopted a resolution (A.924(22)) at its 22nd Assembly session held in November 2001 calling for a review of measures and procedures to prevent acts of terrorism which threaten the security of passengers and crews and the safety of ships. The Secretary-General of IMO was requested by the same resolution to take appropriate measures, within the Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (ITCP), to assist Governments to strengthen maritime and port security. It was made clear that it was essential that the Organization begin to provide technical assistance concurrently with the process of review and amendments of the regulatory regime.

In December 2002, the Organization convened a Diplomatic Conference which adopted a series of measures aimed at providing an internationally agreed and implemented regulatory framework for ship and port security. The measures included the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and a series of amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). The new measures will enter into force on 1 July 2004.

17 June 2004


IMO - the International Maritime Organization - is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

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