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February 12, 2004

Singapore gears up to meet security deadline

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) says that "to further enhance security beyond the requirements of the ISPS Code," it is developing a Harbor Craft Security Code. The HCSC will ensure that harbor craft plying within port waters comply with general security standards. The proposed HCSC will focus on four key areas: access control security measures; transit security measures when navigating; communication security measures and activity security measures when conducting ship/ship or ship/port facility interface.

"The harbor craft community has been consulted on our plans, and it is supportive of the HCSC," says MPA, which says that further details will be announced in due course.

As prescribed by the ISPS Code, come 1 July, all vessels coming to Singapore will be required to submit a Pre-Arrival Notification of Security to the MPA, 24 hours prior to arrival. In addition, vessels arriving at Singapore that are not required to comply with the ISPS Code will also have to complete a Ship Self-Security Assessment Checklist prior to entering port waters. This will ensure better security monitoring of all vessels entering Singapore port waters.

Meantime, MPA says it has already approved the port facility security assessments and plans for PSA Corporation's (PSAC's) container and conventional cargo terminals. PSAC's terminals are the first port facilities in Singapore to meet the requirements of the ISPS Code. PSAC was presented with the Statements of Compliance of a Port Facility (SoCPF) for its Brani, Keppel and Tanjong Pagar Terminals; Pasir Panjang Terminal & Pasir Panjang Wharves; and Sembawang Wharves at a ceremony this week.

Capt Khong Shen Ping, Director (Port), MPA, said, "On behalf of the MPA, I would like to commend PSA Corporation on its efforts to ensure that its facilities in Singapore comply with the ISPS Code in good time... The ISPS Code will enter into force as scheduled. I would like to urge all shipowners and port facility operators to follow in the footsteps of companies such as PSA Corporation, and take action to ensure early compliance."

MPA says other port facilities in Singapore serving international ships are also in various stages of preparation for complying with the ISPS Code. These include cruise and passenger terminals, shipyards, oil terminals, and other facilities with jetties where there are calls by vessels on international voyages. The port facilities have been urged to submit their security assessments and plans to the MPA for approval by April 1, 2004.

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