European ports ready for ISPS code deadline

April, 15 2004

European port operators are alert to the dangers of terrorism and are prepared for the new international port security requirements under the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code, said Jurgen Sorgenfrei, chairman of the port of Hamburg Marketing Association, at a recent National Press Club meeting in Washington on port security. Mr Sorgenfrei said that the Port of Hamburg will comply with all stipulations of the ISPS code by the July 1 deadline, including a security assessment and approved security plan. The ISPS code demands a beefing up of security measures at ports worldwide and on board ocean-going vessels to prevent terrorists using commercial shipping to launch attacks. "Our port, and the many other traffic entries to the European continent, have been taking measures for the maintenance and tightening up of security based on the implementation of internationally binding regulations for the prevention of terrorist attacks on ships and port facilities," said Mr Sorgenfrei. "The events of September 11 brought the realisation that if no suitable measures of control are taken to ward off such future dangers, there are grounds for apprehension that the ship, a means of transport with centuries of tradition behind it, could now be used as a weapon or abused for the transportation of illicit cargoes for terrorist attacks anywhere in the world," Mr Sorgenfrei warned. "This could have considerable implications for world trade".