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IMO ISPS Code Section 11 - Duties and Responsibilities’ of Ship Security Officer (SSO) and Their Importance in Maritime Security

isps ship security officer

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 Ship Security Officer (SSO) is a company-designated officer onboard who reports to the Master for overall management and oversight of all shipboard security policies, programs, and procedures. The SSO is the primary point of contact between the ship and the Port Facility Security Officer located in each port that the ship visits.

A company is required to designate a Ship Security Officer as per in section A/2.1.6 and section A/12 of the ISPS Code and in Section A-VI/5 of the STCW Code, as amended. The SSO is identified by name and position on the ship’s crew list and in the advance notice of arrival.

The Ship Security Officer is responsible for ensuring that the Ship Security Plan (SSP) is implemented at all times while the ship is underway and in port. The SSO is also responsible for undertaking regular security inspections of the ship to ensure that appropriate security measures are maintained as stated in the SSP among other duties.

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ISPS Code - Ship Security Officer

ISPS Code Part A Section 12 - Ship Security Officer

Ship Security Officer (SSO) Requirements

12 Ship Security Officer

12.1 A ship security officer shall be designated on each ship.

12.2 In addition to those specified elsewhere in this Part of the Code, the duties and responsibilities of the ship security officer shall include, but are not limited to:

.1 undertaking regular security inspections of the ship to ensure that appropriate security measures are maintained;

.2 maintaining and supervising the implementation of the ship security plan, including any amendments to the plan;

.3 coordinating the security aspects of the handling of cargo and ship’s stores with other shipboard personnel and with the relevant port facility security officers;

.4 proposing modifications to the ship security plan;

.5 reporting to the company security officer any deficiencies and non-conformities identified during internal audits, periodic reviews, security inspections and verifications of compliance and implementing any corrective actions;

.6 enhancing security awareness and vigilance on board;

.7 ensuring that adequate training has been provided to shipboard personnel, as appropriate;

.8 reporting all security incidents;

.9 coordinating implementation of the ship security plan with the company security officer and the relevant port facility security officer; and

.10 ensuring that security equipment is properly operated, tested, calibrated and maintained, if any. 

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ISPS Code Part B Section 12 - Ship Security Officer

Guidance regarding Ship Security Officer

12 Ship Security Officer

Relevant guidance is provided under Section 8, Section 9 and  Section13.

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