SPO - Security of ports

    BHA Beveiliging van havens

    On 26 October 2005, a Directive was approved ’on enhancing port security’ (SPO-001), complementing the Regulation ‘on enhancing ship and port facility security’ (see chapter 26). The Directive aimed at the extension of the security measures to the entire port zone without putting extra obligations on the zones already covered by the Regulation (terminals).

    Ports are an essential link within the entire chain of transport and connect trade and passenger flows across seas and over land. Ports are often crossroads of transhipping dangerous cargo, for important chemical and petrochemical production centres and/or are located in the vicinity of a city. It is clear that a terrorist attack in ports can easily result in a serious dislocation of the transport system and can have a domino effect on industry in the area. It also causes direct damage to people in the port area or around.  

    The proposal depends on the same security structures and entities (security assessment, security officers, etc.) as Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security. This results in a general security system covering the entire maritime logistic chain, starting from the ship to the ship/port contact face, the entire port area and the port/hinterland interface. This approach simplifies and enables synergy regarding security efforts.

    According to the Directive, Member States have to:

    • Define the boundaries of their port area to implement the Directive;
    • Take care of proper port security assessment and port security plans;
    • Determine and report the security level and the amendments;
    • Appoint a maritime security authority for each port or for a group of ports. This public authority is responsible to take proper security measures and to implement them.

    The Directive also makes it mandatory:

    • To appoint a staff member for port security in each individual port. This for the appropriate setting up, updating and monitoring of the port security assessments and plans.
    • To set up an advisory security commission, with representatives of all relevant operational and governing functions within a port.
    • To apply minimum standards for a security assessment and security plans.  

    Finally, the Directive requires the creation of a cross-road platform in the Member States to set up the necessary communication links with the other Member States and the Commission. The Directive sets up inspection procedures for the monitoring of the implementation of the port security measures.

    Some relevant documents:
    SPO-001: Directive 2005/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on enhancing port security (European Parliament and the Council)