MaltaToday | 27 August 2008

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NEWS | Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Malta ship impounded over anti-terror shortcomings

The Genoa coastal guards have impounded a Maltese-flagged ship for falling short of international security standards concerning terrorism, human and drug traffic.
The 2000-tonne MV Soul Sound was impounded on 14 August over “grave violations” of international maritime security, reportedly after port authorities decreed the ship to fall short of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code – the maritime anti-terrorism code brought into force after 2004.
The Genoa coastal guard inspected the ship to ensure it had adequate security measures to reduce terrorism risks, as well as human and drug traffic.
The Soul Sound belongs to the dry cargo company Rederiet Otto Danielsen A/S, and is being kept in the Genoa port until its shipping company brings the vessel’s international security obligations in order and certified by the port authority.
The ISPS is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention on minimum security arrangements which require port personnel to “detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.”
The ISPS is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
The code outlines “a standardized, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities.”

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