THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003
April 21 2003
Liberia grants ABS status as RSO
ABS has been granted Recognized Security Organization (RSO) ) authorization by the Liberian Ship Registry in conformance with IMO's new International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).
The Liberian Registry has authorized ABS to perform verification audits for compliance with the ISPS Code and to issue International Ship Security Certificates (ISSC) to Liberian flag ships.
The ISPS Code is designed to provide a standardized, consistent framework for evaluating security threats and determining appropriate measures to address them. Security of ships and port facilities is fundamentally a risk management activity requiring assessment of potential security situations to identify threats, determine exposure and evaluate possible consequences.
ABS has submitted its maritime security capabilities ctatement to all the leading flag Administrations in support of its request for authorization as an RSO to act on their behalf.
"ABS has already received positive initial responses from several flag Administrations and we expect to receive formal authorizations in the coming months," says ABS Americas President and COO Robert E. Kramek.
In preparation, ABS has already completed training of the first class of 30 maritime security auditors to the ISPS Code and IACS requirements. According to ABS Manager of Safety & Environmental Systems Certification Capt. Patrick L. Falwell, these auditors are now ready to assist shipowners with meeting both IMO requirements and, when required, the additional security-related standards required for the awarding of the optional ABS class notation. "ABS expects to have 150 maritime security auditors trained and in position worldwide by end-September," says Fallwell.
At the beginning of the year, ABS issued a comprehensive Guide for Ship Security to provide owners and operators with a clearly defined path to follow to obtain ship certification to the international requirements and to meet the additional standards required for the ABS SEC class notation. The Guide and a sample Ship Security Plan are available for free download from the ABS web site.
Compliance with the Code and possession of an ISSC certificate is required by July 1, 2004. ABS estimates that the requirements apply to approximately 43,000 ships and mobile offshore drilling units.