The ISPS Code (International Ship & Port Facility Security Code) was adopted by the IMO in December 2002 and became mandatory from 1st July 2004.
The objectives of the code are:
- To establish an International framework involving co-operation between Contracting Governments, Government Agencies, local administrations and the shipping and port industries to detect security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents affecting, or port facilities used in international trade.
- To establish the respective roles and responsibilities of the Contracting Governments, Government Agencies, local administrations and the shipping and port industries at the national and international level, for ensuring maritime security.
- To ensure the early and efficient collection and exchange of security related information.
- To provide a methodology for security assessments, so as to have in place plans and procedures to react to changing security levels.
- To ensure confidence that adequate and proportionate maritime security measures are in place.
In order to meet the above objectives, the SCI has a security policy signed by the Chairman & Managing Director, which aims to 'provide safe & secure ships for its crew, passengers and cargoes whilst at sea and ports all over the world'.
SCI is committed to the following objectives to fulfill the requirements of its security policy:
- Security of its ships and their crew, passengers and cargo
- Support to its ships in implementing and maintaining the Ship Security Plan.
The ISPS Cell headed by the Company Security Officer (CSO) monitors the security aspects of the ships and ensures that:
- The Ships Security Assessment (SSA) of every ship of the fleet is carried out.
- Based on the SSA the Ship Security Plan (SSP) is developed for each ship.
- The SSP so developed is scrutinized and approved by the Flag Administration.
- The Flag Administration approved SSP is placed onboard and implemented effectively.
- After implementation the security, internal and external audits are carried out, shortcomings if any are rectified and the statutory certificates (ISSC & CSR) are issued and connected onboard.
- The annual internal audits are carried out along with the ISM audits, for checking the continuous effectiveness of the SSP and the deficiencies/non conformities identified are rectified.
- Reviews of security activities are carried out and the SSPs are modified if required.
- The security information available from all sources is collected, and relevant ones are sent to the ships and operating departments for increasing the security awareness of all concerned.
- Concerned personnel from the ship and office undergo necessary training.
- Consistency between safety requirements and security requirements is maintained.
- Necessary security drills and exercises are carried out.
- The 24-hour contact number of the CSO is available to all the ships for security related communication, which happens to be 9820311414.
A special cell in the Director General of Shipping has been created for round-the-clock monitoring of security alerts from the ships and security related communication and Gulf of Aden Piracy threats.