IMO: SECURITY COSTS RISING
Thomas Allan, chairman of the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization, said in New York Monday that the expense of security will be “an increased burden on all sectors of the industry.”
The IMO is undergoing “a change in mindset from safety to security,” Allan said. In December, a diplomatic conference will set the seal on security requirements. To that end, the IMO has been doing work that would normally require three years in a ten-month period, he explained.
Allan said port assessments of security would be at three levels by June 2004: level one would be normal, while level three would be a condition of “you’ll do what you’re told,” even overriding a master’s authority on a vessel, should a terrorist incident have occurred or be imminent.
Industry responses to the new requirements have been supportive, although some sources have worried about an extension of an identification system for vessels that’s now only effective in a short range. The fears expressed, Allan said, come more from apprehension that someone might use “long-range tracking for improper purposes,” thereby violating a “right to innocent passage.”
The IMO’s security rules are intended to prevent any “breaking of the world-wide supply chain on the oceans by a terrorist attack,” Allan said.