Since June 15, 2009 Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA) has been broadcasting a series of public service announcements entitled “Port Security and You”. These announcements are being aired via VON Radio www.vonradio.com (7:30-8:00 am); Choice Radio www.choicefm1053.com (12:00 – 1:00 pm); on NNC TV; and from time to time they will be chronicled in the print media. Our primary objective is to bring awareness to the public, of the International Ship and Port-Facility Security Code (ISPS). We also wish to apprise the public of the important role they are expected to play in making sure adherence is maintained according to the provisions set out in the Code as it relates to the public’s use of our port facilities at Long Point and Charlestown.
These measures were introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a result of the terrorist attacks on the United States of America on September 11, 2001. In response to those attacks, the IMO issued requirements and guidelines for the security of ships and ports through the implementation of the Code.
Since 911 certain security measures have been implemented for air travel as well. These security measures are covered under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and include certain items that cannot be transported in a passenger’s carry-on luggage, and certain items that are not allowed on board an aircraft. These ICAO security measures will be covered in more details at another time. Our focus at this time is on the ISPS Code.
One objective of the ISPS Code is to establish an international framework involving co-operation between contracting governments, government agencies & local administration, along with shipping and port industries to detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities which are used in international trade, and voyages. These include passenger ships, cargo ships, mobile offshore drilling units, and in particular port facilities serving such ships and units.
The guidance material indicates that there could be searches of persons, personal effects, vehicles and their contents. The type of searches could include manual searches by hand, use of walk through metal detectors, hand-held metal detectors, x-ray or dogs. Notwithstanding, we recognize our roles and responsibilities as servants of the people, and as such we will endeavor to conduct searches (where applicable) in a prudent and courteous manner when executing our duties.
St. Kitts and Nevis are signatories to the IMO, and as such we are bound by current and future amendments to the convention of this organization and we must maintain security and other measures at all times.
You would soon be observing additional security measures at Long Point and Charlestown ports as part of the ISPS Code. Security officers will be taking a strict and responsible approach to the public gaining entrance to the facilities. Therefore, effective July 1, 2009 you will be requested to co-operate fully with the necessary instructions and guidelines issued in order to maintain certain required standards.