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On December 2002, the IMO adopted security-related amendment to the SOLAS Convention to provide a guideline for security measures on board ships and the port facilities. This amendment include 30 mandatory regulations stated in the Chapter XI-2 called “Special measures to enhance maritime security”. The ISPS Code, known as The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) has mandatory regulations stated in Part A, and recommended actions that could be implemented and which has been stated in Part B.

In spite of the ISPS Code doesn’t require conduct internal audits to verify the effectiveness of the implementation, provide relevant instructions regarding to conduct a self-assessment. In fact, the clause 4.8.40 states: “Checklist can provide a useful way to assess and report progress in implementing SSPs and, by extension, the Maritime Security Measures”. The new edition of the Guide to Maritime Security and ISPS Code (2012 Edition), in the clause 4.8.43 refers to revealed experience regarding the encouragement made by several Administrations to their shipowners regarding the use of check list, under annual basis, to verify the implementation of the ISPS Code.

With the purpose to facilitate an effective implementation of the ISPS Code, the companies had implemented, in their Company Management System, assessment on board their ships to identify and establish good practices based on the continuous improvement philosophy and ensure that their ships are in compliance with all mandatory requirements regarding the Maritime Security Measures as stated on Part A of the ISPS Code.

Verification Ship Service (VSS) has implemented the First Party Audit for conducting ISPS Code audits on board ships calling to those port facilities where we have available auditors. During the ISPS Code audit process we verify security practices as established in the Part A. The service is performed within the harmonized protocol which involves the ISM Code internal audit and the HSEQ internal audit process as pertinent.