Publications and press releases
  >Press Releases
HK taking positive measures for new maritime security rules
Security plans for 22 port facilities and 595 Hong Kong registered ships have so far been approved for the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code that comes into effect on July 1.

The Deputy Director for Marine Mr Roger Tupper made the remark while addressing at the opening of the Hong Kong Air and Port Security Expo Asia 2004 Maritime Security Seminar today (June 2).

Mr Tupper said: "In Hong Kong there are 31 port facilities under the Code. These facilities include the container terminals, oil depots, power stations, cruise and ferry terminals and the Buoys and Anchorages which constitute a single port facility."

He said that so far Port Facility Security Plan of 22 facilities, including the container terminals in Kwai Chung and the Ocean Terminal at Tsim Sha Tsui, had been approved, adding that the remaining facilities had submitted or were close to submitting their PFSP which were now being considered.

He said among the 595 Hong Kong registered ships with their security plans approved, 287 had already obtained their International Ship Security Certificates.

He said the department had arranged uploading of the port's security status to the IMO website well in advance of the July 1 deadline and had issued its MARSEC Level One through an upload to its website and would provide instant update on advice of the security intelligence services.

Mr Tupper said Hong Kong was taking positive measures to ensure its full compliance with and commitment to the ISPS Code before July 1.

While underlining Hong Kong's full compliance with the Code he reminded delegates that vigilance was required as the threat posed by global terrorists was real.

"We have been reminded of the threat posed to ports and shipping by such groups in attacks on the tanker "Limburg" off the Port of Aden, the attack in the extremely well protected port of Ashdod in Israel and the more recent strike at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia. Sadly yet again at the weekend we saw another savage outrage at Khobar."

He further noted that there was an ongoing need to enhance exchange of information from administration to administration.

He said the Marine Department had developed a database system for maintaining the continuous synopsis records of Hong Kong registered ships required under the Code and those were being provided to shipowners on request.

"We have selected a secure location to handle all ISPS communications from incoming ships and Hong Kong ships on the high seas. This centre operates round-the-clock and has secure links to our internal security services. "

"A new Bill, titled 'the Merchant Shipping (Security of Ships and Port Facilities) Bill', for the purpose of giving effect to this international obligation was submitted to the Legislative Council on 24 March 2004."

Finally he remarked that July 1 would mark the introduction of a new era of security on ships and port. "No doubt there will be teething problems as the requirements of the ISPS Code become bedded into the existing operating systems of the shipping industry," he added.

Ends/Wednesday, June 2, 2004