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ISPS code implementation:
Malaysia takes right direction

Although several ports and ships missed their deadline to comply with the entry of the International Ship and Port Security Code in 1 July 204, Malaysia was among the majority of countries that was able to meet the deadline.
To its credit, the Malaysian Marine Department ensured that flow of shipping traffic was uninterrupted when maritime security Code entered into force worldwide last Thursday.
The Marine Department did not to deny entry for those ships which fail to comply with the ISPS Code, a move that was welcomed by the terminal operators.
The International Maritime Organisation-mandated Code enforced worldwide as part of an enhanced global maritime security measure initiated following the aftermath of 911.
"IMO has directed us not to extend the compliance deadline on 1 July 2004. If a ship does not have a valid ISSC that ship may be detained in a port until it gets a certificate," said the Director General of Marine Department, Raja Datuk Captain Malik Saripulazan Raja Kamaruzaman.
"However, we will go case by case by looking into the type of cargo carried by the ship. We view serious on the ship carrying Class I and II type of cargoes. If these category ships do not have International Ship Security Certificate, (ISSC) we will refuse entry into our ports," he said.
He said non-ISSC compliant ship carrying class III, IV or other specific type of cargo will be allowed to enter local port.
Raja Malik also said Marine department as the designated authority is also drawing up an understanding agreement to tackle the non-compliant issue of the port and ship on the implemented ISPS code effective last Thursday.
"We hope to sign this agreement soon, at least with Indonesia and Brunei. Once signed the agreement the detailed will be submitted to the Malaysia Shipowners' Association and International Shipowners Association said Capt Raja Malik.
Raja Malik also said the department is also looking to sign similar agreement with other countries, where such provision can be considered. However, Raja Malik stressed that these will be a temporary measure.
"We will conduct security inspection on the non-compliant ship and there will be a list of questions for the Ship Security Officer (SSO) or master to comply. These include details security elements of cargo, system, last 10 ports of call with security level of the ship and also the full gangway watch before issuing a "Declaration of Security', he added.
Raja Malik said SSO should keep a proper "continuous Synopsis Record" otherwise they may be faced with additional security requirements at subsequent ports of call, leading to delays.
As for the shipping, more than 85 per cent of the 335 ships Malaysian ships engaged in the international trade have received their ISSC. A total of 105 ships have been issued with full compliance terms ISSC and while 182 ships have been issued with interim compliance ISSC by the Recognised Security Organisations as of 25 June 2004.
Raja Malik also said all 64 ports in Peninsula Malaysia and 39 ports in Sabah and Sarawak received their ISPS compliance certificate. Full compliance to the Code is important as Malaysian ports handle some 60,000 ships calls a year, from various countries worldwide.
Northport Malaysia, was among the first ports to receive its ISPS compliant certificate from the Minister of Transport Datuk Sri Chan Kong Choy on 30 June 2004.
"We are glad to announce that the Marine Department has approved our Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA) and the Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP)," said the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Northport, Mohd Haris Bin Abdul Aziz.
"The Marine Department has taken right direction by not denying entry of any ships which not comply with the ISPS code requirement. However, conducting additional security inspection for non-ISSC ships before issuing a "declaration of security" should welcome and it will be a good move until the particular ship gets full certificate," stressed Haris.
The director of operation of Johor Port Bhd, Dr Lim Meng Soon said things went on smoothly at the Johor Port which complied with the requirement of ISPS code.
Johor port has implemented the 'Declaration of Security' (DOS) safety procedures- an added security measure for all ships calling at the port that weigh more than 500 GRT engaging in international trade
Meanwhile Gima Uji, Senior Manager for Human Safety and Environment of Bintulu Port Bhd, said the port which remains as the one of the biggest LNG exporting facility in the world also did not face any problem during the implementation process or transition period of the international code.
He said Bintulu Port which has been certified as ISPS compliant port has its own by-law on the safety and security measures ahead of other ports due to the nature of Class I and II traffic is being handled at the port.



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