Maritime Security

Maritime Security in Brief

After the tragic events of 11 September 2001 in the United States of America, a Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security was held at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which adopted a number of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security Plan (ISPS) Code.

The objectives of the ISPS Code are to:

  1. 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,
  2. ensure the early and efficient collection and exchange of security-related information, and
  3. ensure confidence that adequate and proportionate maritime security measures are in place.

The functional requirements are to:

  1. gathering and assessing information with respect to security threats and exchanging such information,
  2. preventing unauthorized access to ships, port facilities and their restricted areas,
  3. preventing the introduction of unauthorized weapons, incendiary devices or explosives to ships or port facilities, and
  4. requiring ship and port facility security plans and training, drills and exercises.

In Solomon Islands, The SOLAS Convention and the ISPS Code have force of law as per the Shipping Act 1998 as amended. The Maritime Safety Administration (Ship and Port Security) Regulations 2011 prescribes security measures for ships and port facilities operating in Solomon Islands waters and give the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA) as the Designated Authority (DA) and its Director powers to establish security levels (1 to 3) and verify the implementation of the ISPS Code by port facilities visited by vessels engaged in international voyages to which the ISPS Code applies. The ISPS Code also encourages governments to implement security measures in port facilities and vessels not subject to the ISPS Code.

Maritime Security Committee

A Maritime Security Committee has been established to ensure security measures compliant to international and national standards are implemented at all times and there is effective and close collaboration, cooperation and communication between all enforcement agencies, port facilities and private maritime operators.

Members of the Committee are: Director SIMA (Chairperson), the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) (Deputy Chairperson), Customs and Excise Division, Immigration Division, National Security Office, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), Solfish Company Limited, Tradco Shipping Limited, and Nofokava Transportation & Logistic.

Designated Authority

As per the Maritime Safety Administration (Ship and Port Security) Regulations 2011, SIMA is the Designated Authority (DA) for maritime security and has responsibilities in:

  1. maritime security policy, legislation, standards and procedures;
  2. auditing and enforcing compliance with maritime security policy, legislation, standards and procedures;
  3. approving security plans;
  4. coordinating the maritime security policy response to any security threat;
  5. coordinating the provision of maritime security intelligence; and
  6. providing advice on maritime security.

Port Facilities subject to the ISPS Code

As of today, there are three port facilities identified by SIMA required to implement the ISPS Code because operating international vessels:

    • Honiara Port – one of the two declared international ports operated by SIPA.
    • Noro Port – the second declared international port operated by SIPA.
    • Leroy Wharf Port (LWP) – declared as sufferance port by the Comptroller of Customs.

Recognised Security Organisations

SIMA as the Designated Authority can delegate some of its duties to Recognised Security Organisations (RSOs) that can also assist ships and port which need to comply to security laws. However SIMA will never delegate the following duties:

  • setting of the applicable security level;
  • the approval of a Port, Port Facility or Ship Security Assessment, and subsequent amendments to an approved assessment,
  • the determination of the port or port facility that will be required to appoint a Port or Port Facility Security Officer, and
  • the approval of a Port, Port Facility or Ship Security Plan, and subsequent amendments to an approved plan.

The three RSOs in Solomon Islands are:

  • ATEC Maritime Professional Service, P.O. Box 1419, Tasahe Estate, Honiara.
  • Barile Engineering and Management Consultancy Service Limited (BEMCSL), P.O. Box GC7, Tandai Highway, Honiara.
  • NK Ships & Shore Facility Security Consultant, P.O. Box 29, Noro/Munda.

For more information, please read our circulars here.