Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA, the international community has acknowledged the new security threats to maritime transportation systems and the need for an improved regulatory regime. As a result, a new international framework for enhancing maritime security has been introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Essentially, this has been done through (a) dividing the 1974 Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention chapter XI into two parts: chapter XI-1 for 'Special measures to enhance maritime safety' and a new chapter XI-2 for 'Special measures to enhance maritime security', and (b) establishing a new International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code to support the security regulations incorporated in the SLOAS XI-2 regulations. In addition, SOLAS XI-1 introduces the new regulation XI-1/5 requiring ships to be issued with a Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR), and modifies regulation XI-1/3 for ships' identification numbers to be permanently marked in a visible place on ships. There has been a further modification to SOLAS chapter V/19, with a timetable for the fitting of Automated Identification Systems (AIS). The ISPS code itself is divided into two parts: part A is a mandatory section, while part B is a non-compulsory guidance detailing procedures to be undertaken when implementing the provisions of part A and of SOLAS XI-2. The code sets three maritime security (MARSEC) levels ranging from low/normal (1) to high (3) in proportion to the nature/scope of the incident or the perceived security threat.
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