Security norms are becoming increasingly rigorous worldwide, both for passengers and cargo, and there is no way to remain silent about the implantation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2002.
That was the position taken on Friday, August 19, by the secretary-general of the Ministry of Justice, Luis Paulo Barreto, at a meeting with representatives of Brazil’s ten largest public ports in the National Public Safety Commission for Ports and Navigable Waterways (Conportos).
The meeting, held in the auditorium of the Ministry, was to demand explanations over the reasons for the delay in implementing the ISPS Code.
Barreto observed that Brazilian exports show an “upward and solid trend” and are almost entirely shipped by sea. Since not all the ports possess security certification, he expressed concern over “possible restrictions” placed on some of the port terminals, to the detriment of the country’s foreign trade.
The secretary recommended that the chief security problems of each port be detailed, so that the Ministry of Justice can study joint measures to overcome the difficulties.
The goal, he said, is to implement the ISPS Code as quickly as possible, thus maintaining as well the country’s peaceful image abroad.
“We want to work in cooperation with all the actors involved, in the interest of security, to attain the desired level of preparation,” argued the national secretary of Public Safety, Luís Fernando Correa.
According to Correa, the meeting of the port directors in the Conportos was aimed at a shared solution to guarantee security in public terminals. This discussion will also try to involve the private terminals.
The meeting was attended by administrators from the ports of Paranaguá and Antonina (Paraná state), Rio de Janeiro, Santos (São Paulo state), Vitória, Salvador, Recife, Belém, and Rio Grande, as well as from the Rio Grande do Sul Port and Waterways Company and the Amazonas Navigation, Ports, and Waterways Society.
The ISPS Code contains a series of security measures, directly mainly against terrorist acts. These measures were supposed to have been implemented by July, 2004, in all the ports, terminals, and ships engaged in foreign trade.
Nevertheless, some port installations have still not concluded the process, which they blame on delays in the transfer of government funds.
The acting president of Conportos, João Carlos de Campos, reveals that some have yet to receive these funds, as is the case with the Port of Rio Grande (Rio Grande do Sul state), for legal reasons.
“We invited these administrators, because their ports are responsible for nearly the entirety of Brazilian exports, and we want to avoid encumbrances such as high inspection frequencies and delays in the dispatching of goods in certified ports,” he explained.