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Ports and Shipping Security

Mike Ircha, PhD, P.Eng.

Adjunct Research Professor, Carleton University
Professor Emeritus, University of New Brunswick
Senior Advisor, Association of Canadian Port Authorities
Shipping underlies global economy:
global economic growth: 3.5% in 2010
world fleet: 1.3 billion DWT in 2010
- 60% increase from 2000 (container fleet: 264%)
Global container port throughput:
231,689 TEU in 2000
541,000 TEU in 2010 (234%)
Container growth led to larger ships:
post-Panamax ships (6,000+ TEU) now common
Emma Maersk - largest ship, 14,800 TEU
new build order for 18,000 TEU ships
Canadian ports essential for trade, handling:
280+ million tonnes, worth $162+ million
Canadian ports transship U.S. cargo creating a need
for complementary security programs
Maritime Security
Historically, piracy was a ship-to-ship attack for
cargo and passengers
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
piracy - a universal crime, punishable in every
In 2010: 53 ships hijacked and 1,181 seafarers
captured in 445 attacks
Maritime Security
Terrorism undermined definition of piracy:
1985 hijackers of Achilles Lauro sought political
and religious goals
IMO - 1988 Suppression of Unlawful Acts against
the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA):
- violence on board
- damaging or destroying a ship or cargo
- damaging navigation equipment
September 11, 2001- demonstrated a clear need for
marine security
December 2002 IMO added:
new offences to SUA, and
International Ship and Port Facility Security
(ISPS) Code to the International Convention for
the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
ISPS Code included:
mandatory requirements for governments, ports,
ships and shipping companies
guidelines for developing multi-layered risk
assessment security plans
National governments:
set security threat levels
provide instructions and information on threats
approve/certify security plans
Ships and ports required to:
develop nationally certified security plans
designate ship and port security officers
provide onboard equipment:
- security alert alarms
- GPS and ship ID number for long Range
Identification and Tracking (LRIT)
ensure security awareness, access control, training
provide communications to coordinate ship/port
Port and ship security plans were to be in place by
July 1, 2004
IMO global ISPS compliance survey:
ships - 86%, ports - 69% (2004)
all major Canadian ports compliant
by 2005, ports 97% and ships 90%+ compliant:
No noticeable disruption in world trade.
U.S. Maritime Security Response
Americas ports have become more secure since 9/11. The
primary emphasis in port security has gone from preventing
cargo theft, to protecting people and facilities from terrorism.
That's a major shift. (Kurt Nagle, AAPA, 2006)
U.S. went beyond ISPS Code:
Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)
Container Security Initiative (CSI)
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism
Security and Accountability for Every Port Act
U.S. Maritime Security Response
MTSA (2002):
implemented ISPS Code
established Area Maritime Security Committees
undertook security plan vulnerability assessments
to ensure:
- security patrols
- restricted areas and access controls
- appropriate identification procedures (TWIC)
- presence of surveillance equipment
U.S. Maritime Security Response
Container Security Initiative (CSI) (2002):
extended screening out to foreign ports
electronic manifests 24 hours prior to loading
U.S. Customs in foreign ports
radiation and gamma/x-ray screening (about 5%)
electronic seals
Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver - 1st to join CSI
58 world ports participate
CSI containers not re-inspected on U.S. arrival
U.S. Maritime Security Response
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-
TPAT) (2001):
voluntary program to secure U.S. supply chains
by 2008, some 8,150 companies enrolled
joint private/public development:
- security criteria
- sharing best practices and procedures
U.S. Customs teams visit partner/vendors
parallel Canadian program
U.S. Maritime Security Response
Security and Accountability for Every Port Act
(SAFE) (2006):
interagency operational centers
Port Security Grant Program:
- training, communication, equipment, facilities
100% container screen in foreign ports by 2009
- EU concluded SAFE costly, disrupts trade, and
doesnt improve security
- technical problems led to an extension to 2014
Canadian Maritime Security Response
ISPS Code:
Transport Canada lead department
CPAs initially concerned about lack of TC guidance
Marine Transportation Security Regulations (June
2004), currently under review to:
- address gaps, ambiguities, omissions
- clarify interpretations
- harmonize with partners (particularly with U.S.)
Canadian Maritime Security Response
Maritime Security Contribution Program (2004):
$115 million for ports ($1.7 billion in U.S.)
security initiatives include:
- fencing, CCTV cameras, equipment
- access control, restricted areas, secure
gamma/x-ray/radiation portals for containers
$432 million to federal departments and agents:
- Marine Security Operations Centers
- on-water security presence, communications
Canadian Maritime Security Response
Marine Transportation Security Clearance Program
background checks for port workers
controversial consultations, resulted in:
- risk-based criteria for specific duties
- smaller restricted areas
- independent appeal review mechanism
- minimum information for fair assessment
need for national/international TWIC:
- sailor's shore leave
Gamma/X-Ray Image
Canadas maritime sector has enhanced security:
programs complement U.S. initiatives
Transport Canada responsible for ISPS and other
marine security programs
Additional port security enhancements are needed:
but added security must be balanced with efficient
trade flows
further federal funding needed to remain
competitive with US counterparts