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IMO ISPS Code Section 4 - Responsibilities of Contracting Governments, Mandatory Requirements and Guidance

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandated International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) is a supplement to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS). ISPS Code intends to provide an international framework for mandatory requirements regarding the provisions of Chapter XI-2 of SOLAS.

The Contracting Governments (CG) establish a framework involving co-operation between government agencies, local administrations and the maritime and port industries to detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.


Under the ISPS code, Contracting Governments play vital roles to set the security level applicable at any particular time concerning ships flying their flag and the vessels approaching their ports and other facilities. Contracting Governments assimilate information regarding possible maritime threats and their consequences, provided to the ships and ports through Designated Authorities and Recognized Security Organizations (RTOs) in form of instructions and security guidelines.

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Responsibilities of Contracting Governments

ISPS Code Part A Section 4 - Responsibilities of Contracting Governments

Mandatory responsibilities of contracting governments




4 Responsibilities of Contracting Governments

4.1 Subject to the provisions of regulation XI-2/3 and XI-2/7, Contracting Governments shall set security levels and provide guidance for protection from security incidents. Higher security levels indicate greater likelihood of occurrence of a security incident. Factors to be considered in setting the appropriate security level include:

.1 the degree that the threat information is credible;

.2 the degree that the threat information is corroborated;

.3 the degree that the threat information is specific or imminent; and

.4 the potential consequences of such a security incident.

4.2 Contracting Governments, when they set security level 3, shall issue, as necessary, appropriate instructions and shall provide security related information to the ships and port facilities that may be affected.

4.3 Contracting Governments may delegate to a recognized security organization certain of their security related duties under chapter XI-2 and this Part of the Code with the exception of:

.1 setting of the applicable security level;

.2 approving a Port Facility Security Assessment and subsequent amendments to an approved assessment;

.3 determining the port facilities which will be required to designate a Port Facility Security Officer;

.4 approving a Port Facility Security Plan and subsequent amendments to an approved plan;

.5 exercising control and compliance measures pursuant to regulation XI-2/9; and

.6 establishing the requirements for a Declaration of Security.

4.4 Contracting Governments shall, to the extent they consider appropriate, test the effectiveness of the Ship or the Port Facility Security Plans, or of amendments to such plans, they have approved, or, in the case of ships, of plans which have been approved on their behalf.

ISPS Code Part B Section 4 - Responsibilities of Contracting Governments

Guidance regarding responsibilities of contracting governments

4 Responsibilities of Contracting Governments


Part B Section 4 - Responsibilities of Contracting Government PDF

Disclaimer: For general information purpose only - please check IMO ISPS Code - SOLAS Convention for the latest requirements and accurate info

LAST UPDATED ON Jan 24, 2021