Ship Security Plan – Everything You Must Know

ship security plan

Trading through ships and vessels is one of the most crucial sectors for international relationships. Though it has risks to both life and wealth, it can’t be helped to skip this route. To protect the ship, cargo or vessels and its resources various rules and regulations were provided and implemented. The Ship Security Plan is one of those regulations and it plays the most vital role to provide safety.

In this article today, we’ll talk about the Ship Security Plan(SSP) with ISPS Code. The ship security plan is a confidential document that specifies all the documents and procedures to combat any threat against cargo or vessels. Under ISPS, any cargo or ships above 500GT must have the Ship Security Plan. 

What is ISPS Code? 


The full form of the ISPS Code is the International Ship & Port Facility Security Code. This is a set of rules and regulations which is vital for the safety of ships on board, cargo, vessel and port. When we hear about the ISPS code, we think about Somalia and Nigeria. 

ISPS code was developed after the incident of the 9/11 terror attack in the USA. Some features of ISPS code are-

  • Specifies different duties for different levels for the security of the ship.
  • Monitors all unauthorized activities or access in the port.
  • Implements roles of security plans like SSP, CSO etc.
  • Collects all data from the world to be careful about the security threats and tackle them.

What is a Ship Security Plan(SSP)? 


A ship security plan also known as SSP, is formulated to ensure a plan taken by the security officers to secure and protect the ship or cargo. It is a set of rules that are made to protect the cargo, ports, wealth, vessels and living life from any security threats. 

The plan provides all the duties and responsibilities to take action against any sudden or unanticipated threats. Under the ISPS code, SSP must have a shipboard security plan to ensure the security level and control access. The information of the Ship Security Plan is confidential and can’t be shared outside of the ship personnel. 

Essentials of Ship Security Plan 


In this segment, you’ll get to know the requirements of the Ship Security Plan that Doric is providing

  1. The SSP should be developed for each ship taking into account the security level and port security. 
  2. The personnel of the ship security board must prevent any unwanted access from the ship and leakage of any information. 
  3. Under the Ship Security Plan, a security officer must be appointed to execute all the plans and methods.
  4. There should be measures, equipment and actions to be ready to prevent any threat to the ship and prevent any unauthorized activities on board. 

Contents of Ship Security Plan 


Here are the rules with which the entire Ship Security Plan consist. Doric also follow the rules and plan. Let’s get them.

  1. Vessel security plans should have all the procedures and measures to combat any emerging security threats.
  2. Enough effective measures should be taken to prevent dangerous substances and weapons on board or port. 
  3. Ample amount of security drills and exercises.
  4. The Company security officer along with the ship security officer should have the contact details. 
  5. There should be enough security equipment onboard with proper maintenance. 
  6. The staff and officers should report security incidents with proper procedures.
  7. There should be restricted areas to prevent any unauthorized access or leakage of information. 
  8. Proper procedures to review and update any information to SSP. 

What Are the Security Levels of ISPS? 


Security level means a provision given by ISPS Code to specify the current situation in the port and ship. There Are 3 levels of security adopted at the international level-

  • Security Level 1

This is the ordinary and basic level of security. This level of security is operated daily on the ship on board. This is the minimum level of security. 

  • Security Level 2

It’s a higher level of security operation according to the level and duration of risk. If there is any hint of heightening the risk of security, additional security measures are taken like enhancing the patrolling or drills. 

  • Security Level 3

This is the highest level of security operation. When there is any inevitable or irresistible security threat, then this security level is applied. In this scenario, the ship on board keeps constant contact with the port.


Who Prepares the Ship Security Plan? 


The authority to prepare the Ship Security Plan is on Company Security Officer(CSO). Their responsibility is to make sure that they prepare the SSP under the ISPS code and maintain all the procedures with caution. After making the SSP, the officers have to get approval from the Recognized Security Organization. 

Then, the Ship Security Officers’ responsibility is to implement the policies specified in the SSP. He will be in charge to maintain all the patrolling, sending reports and doing respective duties. 

Final Verdict 


Ship security plan has to be implemented with proper authority, otherwise, it’ll be useless as a piece of white paper. ISPS Code isn’t enough to put an end to security incidents around the world. The company and ship authorities should have proper knowledge about these regulations and assign enough manpower to implement all the methods and procedures. .



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