The Government of Trinidad and Tobago maintains its obligation to fully implement the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 (SOLAS) which it signed on 7 November 1974 and was entered into force on 25 May 1980. In December 2002 there were amendments to SOLAS 1974 which include the addition of Chapter XI-2 (Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Security) and the International Maritime Organization publication of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).Part A of the Code is mandatory and part B contains guidance as to how best to comply with the mandatory requirements.
Cabinet Minute No. 867 dated 25 March 2004 provided for the establishment of the Marine Ship Safety and Port Facility Security Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard as the Designated Authority to ensure implementation and enforcement of the SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code as it relates to Port Facility Security, Ship/Port and Ship/Ship interface in Trinidad and Tobago.
The MSSPFSU consists of three (3) sections: (1) Marine Ship Safety (2) Port Facility Security and (3) Command and Administration.
The Marine Ship Safety Section inter alia, conducts inspection of vessels as per regional port state control procedures and guidelines and prepares reports and recommendations on the outcome of those inspections.
The Port Facility Security Section inter alia, sets maritime security levels, approves port facility security assessments and port facility security plans, determines when a Declaration of Security is required, test the effectiveness of the port facility security plan, and establish and maintain contact points for ships using Trinidad and Tobago port facilities or on passage through its territorial waters.
The Command and Administration Section provides oversight, assistance and technical support to Marine Ship Safety Section and the Port Facility Security Section.
The legislation which gives legality to SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code in Trinidad and Tobago is the inclusion of The Shipping (Ship and Port Facility Security) Regulations 2004 as an amendment in the Shipping Act No 24 of 1987. Read more