Maritime security addresses port facilities comprising areas where interactions between vessels and ports take place, i.e. in the vicinity of quaysides. It was already established during the preparation of the ISPS Code that the development of additional, so called port security, measures would be a necessary step to further protect general port and inland areas.
The Port Security Act contains provisions detailing how port security should be organised and practised. By port security is meant the measures implemented in ports for the purpose of the protection of people, infrastructure and equipment at the ports from serious unlawful actions.
The geographical area in which port security regulations apply is determined by the nature of the definition of the port. The regulations provide a definition of a port as “a specified area of land and water with installations and equipment that facilitate commercial shipping”. This means that land with, for example, roadways that are not administered by the port is encompassed by port security regulations. Port security applies to the areas not encompassed by maritime security regulations.
In practical terms the port security regulations do not require any changes to be made to normal operations as long as the security status of the port remains at level 1. When higher levels of security come into effect, measures set out in the port security plan are implemented.