Port Security

Port Security overview

About 90% of EU’s external trade and 40% of internal trade is transported by sea.  This corresponds to 3.5 billion tonnes of freight loaded and unloaded in EU ports each year[1]. While individual port security breaches may cause much damage in themselves, the disruption that such security incidents cause to the supply chains can also become very costly. Thus, port security remains of paramount importance for Europe both due to direct threats to life and property as well as the potential for crippling economic damage arising from the effects on the supply chains.
Ports also represent the intersection between supply chain security measures (e.g., the USA C-TPAT and CSI initiatives and the WCO SAFE Framework) and ship and port facility security measures (e.g., through the International Ship and Port Facility Security -ISPS Code[2] and EC Legislation 725/2004).  A specific challenge for ports is to integrate these types of measures into an integrated security approach.
Port Security, as a concept, is treated differently in different European flag states. In some countries, Port Security is provided by a combination of military and police forces. In other countries, it is a completely commercial arrangement where private enterprises hire private security companies to provide port security. In other words, there is no European-wide appreciation and handling of Port Security matters. There is no European Department of Homeland Security, which creates challenges and places a greater degree of responsibility on EU ports to make security part of their competitive strategy.  
Ports represent significant challenges when implementing new security measures. They cover large areas, they have very different and complex operations, they service large numbers of passengers and they process large amounts of goods.

Key challenges include:

·  not all ports have large resources
·  lack of international standards for training and security equipment create barriers to achieving high security levels
·  ports have implemented ISPS differently, therefore have different ‘baselines’ from which they have to start
·  ports have different problems internally, and face different threats externally
Port security solutions must satisfy all of the above constraints. Therefore, solutions extend beyond mere technology and include processes and other supporting structures within organisations.  Also iimportant are organisational and technological interfaces linking ports to border control authorities, the police and other intervention forces, as well as transport and logistics operators.
Although major players, mainly operating containers, have state of the art solutions there is still a need to:

1.  Upgrade risks and vulnerabilities assessments;
2.  Improve access control;
3.  Improve monitoring  and surveillance performance;
4.  Set standards for fencing, intrusion alarm and CCTV systems;
5.  Improve Inspecting and Securing of Cargo;
6.  Set up of guidelines for screening of personnel, improving  background checks and  profiling functions;
7.  Improve resilience;
Improve security training, awareness programs and management training.

[1] Maritime transport policy, Improving the competitiveness, safety and security of European shipping, October 2006.
[2] ISPS aims to “provide a consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling Governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities through determination of appropriate security levels and corresponding security measures