About ISPS

In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States it was realized that ships and seaports were also at serious risk of becoming the targets or tools of international terrorism. Two months later in November 2001, plans and activities designed to protect international shipping and seaports against such risks were put on the agenda of the 22nd assembly of the International Maritime Organization.

At this meeting, the IMO adopted a resolution calling on the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) to conduct “a review of the existing international legal and technical measures to prevent and suppress terrorist acts against ships and improve security aboard and ashore in order to reduce any associated risk to passengers, crews and port personnel on board ships and in port areas and to the vessels and their cargoes.” The outcome of this review and study was the formulation of the standards that make up what is now referred to as the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).

In order to make compliance with these new standards mandatory and to put the standards into effect as quickly as possible, it was decided to make them an annex to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the first version of which was passed in 1974 and to which Turkey is a signatory. An international SOLAS conference to accomplish this was held on 12 December 2002.

Amendments that were made in SOLAS Chapter XI-1 (“Special measures to enhance maritime safety”) and Chapter XI-2 (“Special measures to enhance maritime security”) were incorporated into ISPS and the revised legal instrument went into effect on 1 July 2004 after being ratified by all the parties to the convention.