Maritime security was introduced in Iceland in 2004, when the Act on Maritime Security, No. 50/2004, entered into force. Maritime security entails the protection of transport vessels, passenger vessels and port facilities from terrorist acts and illegal activities, as well as ensuring that terrorists and terrorist weapons are not smuggled on board ships in order to commit acts of terrorism against a third party.
The provisions of this Act are based on the international conventions SOLAS (1974) and ISPS (Code A and Code B).
Maritime security comprises four main aspects: ship security, port facilities security, cargo security and passenger security.
Since the advent of maritime security, there are primarily three factors that need consideration in terms of port facilities, i.e. closing off areas, controlling access to them and keeping watch over them.
Furthermore, it must always be kept in mind that the port facility security officer bears responsibility for implementing maritime security. Only ship personnel and those who have completed the course for employees with a role in maritime security are competent of seeing to security watches. Cargo security is subject to rules from the Directorate of Customs.
The Port of Hafnarfjörður has clearly posted that unauthorised traffic in the harbour area is not permissible and that access to the harbour is controlled. Port facilities shall be marked with signs and cordoned off. Those people who have taken the course for employees with a role may be assigned to security watches. The port facility security officer is constantly responsible for ongoing facility surveillance. This surveillance may be carried out with cameras and/or localised watches. If a third party is entrusted with implementing maritime security, a security officer must check that this party is actually enforcing such security.
The requirements placed on port facilities vary according to their extent and operations. However, this consideration may generally be simplified by breaking down the facilities into the following three types:
The port facility must be fenced off, kept under regular surveillance, and access to it controlled. A watch must be maintained on who enters the port facility and for what purpose. Finally, containers moving into the area must have a bill of lading and seal, in accordance with the Directorate of Customs requirements. On the other hand, the port may entrust a third party with security watches, i.e. the ship operator, a stevedore gang, a specific company or some other party, depending on circumstances.
The port facility shall be fenced off and kept under watch, and access to it controlled. There must be monitoring of those who enter the port facility and those situated there. On a cruise ship, passenger security checks will normally occur on board unless requested otherwise. For as long as the vessel is in harbour, it must be monitored, with the basic rule being that it be watched from land. If conditions allow, the vessel itself may be entrusted with surveillance.
Bulk terminals; occasional vessel calls
If operations are minimal, portable fences or cordons and signs banning access to unauthorised persons will suffice; otherwise, permanent fencing is mandatory. Third parties may be entrusted with security watches, and if there are no operations occurring while the vessel is lying at quayside, the vessel itself may be assigned the task of surveillance.
Further information on the rules relating to maritime security may be found on the Icelandic Maritime Administration website.