IMO URGES GOVERNMENTS TO PREPARE APPLICATION OF NEW SECURITY RULES
The International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency responsible for maritime safety and the prevention of marine pollution by ships, has issued a circular to urge governments to start implementing new security measures well ahead of their July 2004 deadline.
The rules, adopted by the IMO member governments last December, include a revision to the Safety of Life at Sea convention and a new International Ship and Port Facility Security code. The international security rules were developed and approved by the IMO under a fast timetable, following the terrorist attacks against the United States.
The IMO said that it would be prudent, given the high number of ships and ports which will have to implement the decisions, “that all parties concerned start putting in place, methodically, systematically and as soon as possible,” all the necessary legislative, administrative and operational measures.
“It is important that parties do not await the entry-into-force date (of July 2004) before consideration of these important issues,” the IMO warned. The IMO circular points out that there will be no extension of the date of application under its regulations.
It asked member governments that have difficulty in implementing the rules to seek assistance under the IMO’s technical cooperation program.