The task of implementing the IMO formulated regulations to enhance ship and port security - the amendments to SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code — was commenced in Iceland in June 2003 when the Ministry of Transport and Communications established a committee consisting of members from government administrations and the port and shipping industries.
The committee's main task was to plan and coordinate the responsibilities and activities of various governmental and non-governmental bodies involved in the development of the new port and ship security system. The committee completed its task in February 2004. In late May 2004, the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, passed a law on the organization and implementation of ship and port facility security in Iceland.
The mandatory ISPS Code and regulation (EC) No 725/2004 of the European Parliament has been fully implemented with regard to Icelandic port facilities.
The Icelandic Transport Authority (ICETRA) has been appointed the role of designated authority and focal point in Iceland and thus has been given the assignment of supervising the preparation, implementation and control of the relevant SOLAS provisions, the ISPS Code and regulation No 725/2004.
The task of organizing the groundwork for the new port and ship security program in Iceland has mainly been the responsibility of ICETRA. This includes assisting the Icelandic port authorities in conducting security assessments and formulating security plans, designating PFSOs, training and educating security personnel and formulating guidelines and standards for the application of the international rules in question as well as communicating to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Commission the required ISPS information.
In Iceland PFSOs have been designated for all Icelandic port facilities pursuant to the ISPS Code. The port facility security officers that have been designated are, with a very few exceptions, employees of the ports where they are expected to carry out their duties and thus are in direct communication with the port authorities.
The ports themselves have carried out port facility security assessments and prepared security plans based on self-assessment but assisted by ICETRA and the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police. Both offices have to approve the security plan before it can be applied.
Together with the provisions of the ISPS Code and SOLAS chapter XI-2, container security has been established in Icelandic ports under the auspices of the Directorate of Customs.
At present, 79 port facilities in 29 port security assessments and security plans have been validated, inspected and awarded Statement of Compliance of a Port Facility by the IMA and the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police. Already in May 2004, some Icelandic port facilities were registered in the IMO ISPS database pursuant to the provisions of the ISPS Code, making Iceland among the first countries to submit entries there.
ICETRA is of the opinion that Iceland's participation in the international maritime security system is in sound condition and at present there are no evident obstacles in maritime security aspects. Icelandic ports fully comply with international maritime security laws and regulations.“