IMO ISPS Code Section 9 - Mandatory Requirements and Guidance for Ship Security Plan (SSP), the Manual of Ship Security
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.
Under the ISPS Code Section 9, all passenger ships regardless of size and all cargo ships above 500 GT is mandatory to have a Ship Security Plan (SSP) approved by the administration or a Recognized Security Organization (RSO) on behalf of the administration. The content of each Ship Security Plan will vary depending on the particular ship it covers.
An SSP is created to give guidance on measures in place onboard the ship, something to be adhered to in times of crisis and threats. It is the responsibility of the Company Security Officer (CSO) to implement the ships SSP to protect persons on board, cargo, cargo transport units, ship’s stores or ship from risks of a security incident. Every change to an approved Ship Security Plan shall be reported by the CSO to the relevant RSO.
Also, all ships subjected to this regulation shall establish Ship Security Management System already documented in manual Ship Security Plan to ensure secure operation of the ship.
- Ship Security Plan (SSP) Requirements
- Guidance regarding Ship Security Plan
- Ship Security Officer Online Training & Certification
You may also read:
- Ship Security Officer (SSO) Training Online
- Company Security Officer (CSO) Training Online
- Port Pacility Security Officer (PFSO) Training Online
- Designated Person Ashore (DPA) Training Online
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ISPS Code - Ship Security Plan
ISPS Code Part A Section 9 - Ship Security Plan
Ship Security Plan (SSP) Requirements
9 Ship Security Plan
9.1 Each ship shall carry on board a ship security plan approved by the Administration. The plan shall make provisions for the three security levels as defined in this Part of the Code.
9.1.1 Subject to the provisions of section 9.2.1, a recognized security organization may prepare the ship security plan for a specific ship.
9.2 The Administration may entrust the review and approval of ship security plans, or of amendments to a previously approved plan, to recognized security organizations.
9.2.1 In such cases the recognized security organization, undertaking the review and approval of a ship security plan, or its amendments, for a specific ship shall not have been involved in either the preparation of the ship security assessment or of the ship security plan, or of the amendments, under review.
9.3 The submission of a ship security plan, or of amendments to a previously approved plan, for approval shall be accompanied by the security assessment on the basis of which the plan, or the amendments, have been developed.
9.4 Such a plan shall be developed, taking into account the guidance given in part B of this Code and shall be written in the working language or languages of the ship. If the language or languages used is not English, French or Spanish, a translation into one of these languages shall be included. The plan shall address, at least, the following:
.1 measures designed to prevent weapons, dangerous substances and devices intended for use against persons, ships or ports and the carriage of which is not authorized from being taken on board the ship;
.2 identification of the restricted areas and measures for the prevention of unauthorized access to them;
.3 measures for the prevention of unauthorized access to the ship;
.4 procedures for responding to security threats or breaches of security, including provisions for maintaining critical operations of the ship or ship/port interface;
.5 procedures for responding to any security instructions Contracting Governments may give at security level 3;
.6 procedures for evacuation in case of security threats or breaches of security;
.7 duties of shipboard personnel assigned security responsibilities and of other shipboard personnel on security aspects;
.8 procedures for auditing the security activities;
.9 procedures for training, drills and exercises associated with the plan;
.10 procedures for interfacing with port facility security activities;
.11 procedures for the periodic review of the plan and for updating;
.12 procedures for reporting security incidents;
.13 identification of the ship security officer;
.14 identification of the company security officer including 24-hour contact details;
.15 procedures to ensure the inspection, testing, calibration, and maintenance of any security equipment provided on board;
.16 frequency for testing or calibration of any security equipment provided on board;
.17 identification of the locations where the ship security alert system activation points are provided;1 and
.18 procedures, instructions and guidance on the use of the ship security alert system, including the testing, activation, deactivation and resetting and to limit false alerts.*
9.4.1 Personnel conducting internal audits of the security activities specified in the plan or evaluating its implementation shall be independent of the activities being audited unless this is impracticable due to the size and the nature of the Company or of the ship.
9.5 The Administration shall determine which changes to an approved ship security plan or to any security equipment specified in an approved plan shall not be implemented unless the relevant amendments to the plan are approved by the Administration. Any such changes shall be at least as effective as those measures prescribed in chapter XI-2 and this Part of the Code.
9.5.1 The nature of the changes to the ship security plan or the security equipment that have been specifically approved by the Administration, pursuant to section 9.5, shall be documented in a manner that clearly indicates such approval. This approval shall be available on board and shall be presented together with the International Ship Security Certificate (or the Interim International Ship Security Certificate). If these changes are temporary, once the original approved measures or equipment are reinstated, this documentation no longer needs to be retained by the ship.
9.6 The plan may be kept in an electronic format. In such a case, it shall be protected by procedures aimed at preventing its unauthorized deletion, destruction or amendment.
9.7 The plan shall be protected from unauthorized access or disclosure.
9.8 Ship security plans are not subject to inspection by officers duly authorized by a Contracting Government to carry out control and compliance measures in accordance with regulation XI-2/9, save in circumstances specified in section 9.8.1.
9.8.1 If the officers duly authorized by a Contracting Government have clear grounds to believe that the ship is not in compliance with the requirements of chapter XI-2 or part A of this Code, and the only means to verify or rectify the non- compliance is to review the relevant requirements of the ship security plan, limited access to the specific sections of the plan relating to the non-compliance is exceptionally allowed, but only with the consent of the Contracting Government of, or the master of, the ship concerned. Nevertheless, the provisions in the plan relating to section 9.4 subsections .2, .4, .5, .7, .15, .17 and .18 of this Part of the Code are considered as confidential information, and cannot be subject to inspection unless otherwise agreed by the Contracting Governments concerned.
*Administrations may allow, in order to avoid compromising in any way the objective of providing on board the ship security alert system, this information to be kept elsewhere on board in a document known to the master, the ship security officer and other senior shipboard personnel as may be decided by the Company.
ISPS Code Part B Section 9 - Ship Security Plan
Guidance regarding Ship Security Plan
9 Ship Security Plan
Disclaimer: For general information purpose only - please check IMO ISPS Code - SOLAS Convention for the latest requirements and accurate info
Ship Security Officer Online Training
UK MCA Approved SSO Training Online
The VIRSEC online course give the essential education and training to get certified as a Ship Security Officer and meets the requirements set out in the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. Read more..
LAST UPDATED ON Jul 16, 2022