National Seminar/Workshop on Maritime Security:

A five-day Maritime Security Seminar was held in Mombassa mid February this year (2004).

The event organized by the Kenya Ports Authority ( KPA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was attended by 47 participants representing several organizations including Kenya Ports Authority, Seafarers Union of Kenya, local Shipping Companies, Mombassa Ports users, Officials from the Ministry of Transport and Communications the Kenya Navy, Kenya Police, Provincial Administration and all government security agencies.

The purpose of the seminar/workshop was to familiarize the participants with the amendments to SOLAS convention and the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) code and to help them understand the methods of conducting Port Facility Security Assessments and Ship Security Assessments.

The objectives of the ISPS code are to establish an international frame work involving co-operation between contracting Governments, Government agencies, local administrations and the shipping and port industries to detect/assess security, threats and take preventive measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international level.

Maritime security threats that affect every port and every ocean going vessel are:

  1. Pilferage and theft;

  2. Illicit drugs smuggling;

  3. Illegal migrants;

  4. Stowaways;

  5. Piracy and armed robbery against ships;

  6. Sabotage and Terrorism

The objectives of the ISPS code are also; to ensure the early and efficient collation and exchange of security related information; to provide a methodology for security assessments so as to have in place plans and procedures to react to changing security levels and to ensure confidence that adequate and proportionate maritime security measures are in place.

The objectives of the ISPS code are also to be achieved by the designation of appropriate officers/ personnel on each port facility and in each shipping company to prepare and to put into effect the security plans that will be approved for each s ship and port facility.

The ISPS code applies to all SOLAS vessels over 500 GRT engaged in international voyages and all port facilities serving such ships.

The code consists of two parts: part A, which is mandatory and part B, which is recommended.

Implementation of the code is by a amendments of SOLAS 1974 (for ships) and by domestic legislation in the port state.

All ships and port facilities covered by the ISPS code must implement the mandatory requirements by 1st July 2004.

Requirements of the code includes:

  • Ship Identification number to be permanently marked on vesselís hulls;

  • Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) kept on board showing vessel history;

  • Ship or Port Facility Security Assessment (SSA or PFSA);

  • Ship or Port Facility Security Plan (SSP or PFP);

  • Ship or Port Facility Security Officer (SSO or PFSO);

  • Company ship to port security communication link;

  • Training and drills;

  • A Ship Security Alert System (SSAS).

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has set aside 7.6 million for the ISPS code Implementation strategy this was revealed to the participants by the KPA Managing Director, Mr. Brown Ondego.

Mr. Ondego told the workshop that KPA would spend a total of US $ 7.5 million on measures including a perimeter wall, closed circuit cameras and staff security training.

In his closing remarks the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transport and Communication Prof. Gerrison Ikiara told the workshop that the government will by 1st July of this year (2004) implement the mandatory requirements of the ISPS code.

In their five-(5) point resolutions the participants urged the government to enact the Merchant Shipping Bill 2003 in order to put in place a legal framework to enable the implementation of the ISPS code. For, the code is coming into force in July 1, 2004 and therefore the need for urgent action to ensure compliance. Failure to comply by that date will render the port of Mombassa blacklisted.

They also urged the government to re-activate the dormant National Maritime and Port Security Committee.

The Office of the Merchant Shipping Superintendent was represented by the Assistant Merchant Shipping Superintendent, Eng. Willfred Kagimbi, while the Seafarers Union of Kenya was represented by the Secretary General, Abubakar Omar, Assistant General Secretary Yakub Mvoi and the Organizing Secretary Andrew Mwangura.

Seafarers Union of Kenya believes that the government of Kenya will in its implementation of the ISPS code take appropriate measures against the 18 illegal landing sites a long the 640 km Kenya Coast line.

Andrew Mwangura

Organizing Secretary

Seafarers Union of Kenya

Andrew Mwangura
P.O. Box 92273
Mombasa,80102 Kenya.
Tel: 00254 41 312058
Cell:00254 721 393458

Fax: 00254 41 230001

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