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Understanding the international ship and port facility security (ISPS) code : an examination of the implementation and effectiveness of the ISPS code.

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It all started with a bang! Maritime security drastically evolved due to the tragic events of 11 September 2001(9/11), when a series of coordinated terrorist attacks were made on the United States of America. This unprecedented and catastrophic incident of terrorism shocked the world but more importantly drew the attention of the international maritime security authorities to the vulnerabilities of the seaports to acts of terrorism and other criminal threats. The most significant international agreement relating to maritime safety and security is the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), and this agreement was amended in 2002 in London, to include a new provision, that is the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code. The ISPS Code is in essence a framework of maritime security measures designed to enhance the security of ships and port facilities. This dissertation is a study of the ISPS Code, an analysis of the regulatory provisions of the ISPS Code, its implementation and impact. The ISPS Code was implemented on 01 July 2004 and currently applies to 162 States that are contracting governments to SOLAS. This study has four chapters, chapter one sets out the background to the development of maritime security and it includes a regional perspective on maritime security as well as a status update on the main commercial ports in South Africa. Thereafter, chapter two is dedicated to providing the reader with an understanding of the provisions of the ISPS Code, describing its purpose, objectives and key elements. Chapter three focuses on maritime security and terrorism. It provides the reader with summaries of maritime incidents that occurred prior to the implementation of the ISPS Code as well as incidents that took place after its implementation in order to assess its success in achieving its objectives of enhancing international maritime security. Finally chapter four provides a detailed analysis of the implementation and impact of the ISPS Code in South Africa as well as it implementation in other signatory countries of SOLAS such as Singapore, Iran and the United Kingdom. This chapter then concludes with recommendations made to the International Maritime Organisation to enable it to improve on its mandate of maritime security.


Master of Law in Maritime law. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College 2016.


Theses--Maritime law., Merchant marine--Safety measures., War, Maritime (International law)., Maritime terrorism--Law and legislation., Ships--Safety measures.