Commercial civilian aircraft were utilised to inflict maximum damage and perpetrate carnage in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States of America. In the wake of the attacks, attention also turned to the maritime transport sector with the realisation that ships could be used as vectors in an attempt to inflict irreparable damage to life, property and the environment.
Merchant ships and ports facilities can pose attractive targets for nefarious criminal activity, against which they need to be secured and guarded. Maritime security and particularly the security of port facilities and ships assume significant importance in the light of security challenges facing them like terrorism and piracy, among others and consequently training of maritime security personnel takes centre-stage.
The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code came into force in July 2004 following adoption in chapter XI-2 of the Saftey of Life at (SOLAS, 1974 as amended) convention in late 2002. Member governments of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) had a little over one and a half years to legislate for, and be prepared for the enforcement of the ISPS code in July 2004 and it can be said to be one of the fastest ratifications of a code given the security climate post 9/11.