July 8, 2004

Barwil's BSO will give ISPS guidance

Wilhelm Wilhelmsen's Barwil Agencies AS says it is "taking a proactive approach toward critical ISPS issues."

It is appointing an in-house security officer at each of its 243 offices throughout the world.

Barwil offers a wide range of shipping and cargo related services to a diverse international clientele. It represents a large number of major Liner operators and approximately 1,700 clients in the tramp, tanker, cruise and gas carrier trades. In year 2003 the company handled over 36,000 ship calls. Major vessel operators, charterers and international traders figure prominently in the client portfolio. The company offers services that vary from simple ship agency tasks to complex outsourcing activities.

According to Barwil, shipowners run considerable risks when allowing vessels to enter non-ISPS compliant ports and has therefore established its own Barwil Security Officer (BSO) to offer clients full ISPS assistance.

"Ships entering in, for example, a non-ISPS compliant port in Asia, might face problems when entering a port in the U.S.A,." says Per Saltvedt, Barwil's Head of ISPS.

"Barwil has first-hand ISPS information in the ports where it is represented," says Saltvedt. "Some are fully ISPS compliant, some are in the ISPS certification process, others haven't even begun. Unwary shipowners can and will encounter tremendous financial consequences if not adhering to strict regulations now imposed by the ISPS Code."

Barwil has completed a global-wide company quality and operational system upgrade to ensure provide internal responsibility structures governing all ISPS issues.

"The growing concern of maritime security is taken very seriously by our clients and Barwil. With the new comprehensive security regime for international shipping now in force, Barwil has established an inhouse Security Officer to proactively protect the interests of our clients," said Bjorn Tonsberg, President & CEO, Barwil.

The Barwil Security Officer ensures that each office's security performance is in line with security precautions set forth by Barwil head office.

"The BSO is an internal administrative role, most likely combined with an already existing position," said Tonsberg. "Each Barwil office will have a Security Officer, acting as the Barwil contact for all issues relating to vessel and port security. The BSO has excellent contact with port authorities, a broad port network and knows exactly the ISPS status of each port. This person will minimize any doubt a client may have in relation to port ISPS issues," said Tonsberg.

Barwil says it can offer updated ISPS port information to vessels 24-hours a day and if necessary can act as a chosen channel between the Port Facility Security Officer, Port Authorities and the ship security officer. Additional security measures by Barwil include a photo-ID badge. The uniform global Barwil badge will be worn by the BSO and be easily recognizable by vessels and ports throughout the world.

Says Saltvedt: "The badge is an extra precautionary measure in addition to the badges issued by local authorities. The BSO has a complete overview of the port's ISPS situation, the port facility security plan, officers, contact persons, fire stations, etc."

He stresses that Barwil must not been seen as having any authority related to ISPS status of any port.

"Ports do not receive a clean bill of health unless they can fully document ISPS certification. We provide our contacts with a list of named Port Security Plans and related port/births/terminals and provide status on certification," said Saltvedt.

Barwil has invested considerable financial resources in the establishment of the BSO system, but believes the money is well spent.

"Barwil assures each and every client full response to most ISPS-related security issues. As a ship agency leader, we needed to offer clients a high-degree of ISPS know-how and are confident that clients will receive accurate advice when contacting any global Barwill agency," said Tonsberg.

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