Port protection

Port Protection

Ship and port facility security regulations

In 1974, the International Maritime Organisation approved an International Agreement for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) which includes an annex containing the regulations and requirements for the safety of vessels and people. These regulations are mainly based on two documents:

  • Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS, 1974)
  • International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS)

To achieve the objectives included in the Code, governments should, inter alia, collect and assess information on security threats, require the maintenance of communication protocols for ships and port facilities, require ship and port facility security plans, and establish security systems and plans to deliver the appropriate level of ship and port facility security in a coordinated manner.

The following aspects need to be taken into account:


The Code applies to ships on international voyages (passenger ships, cargo ships of 500 GT gross tonnage and upwards) and to port facilities serving such ships undertaking international voyages.


The port facility should operate in accordance with three security levels. Security measures and procedures should be implemented within the port facility so as to minimise any inconvenience or delay to passengers, ships, ships’ crew and visitors, and the movement of goods and services, whilst remaining effective.

  • Security Level 1: normal, the level at which the ship or port facility normally operates. Security level 1 means the level for which minimum appropriate protective security measures shall be maintained at all times.
  • Security Level 2: heightened, the level applying for as long as there is a heightened risk of a security incident.
  • Security Level 3: means the level for which appropriate additional protective security measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk of a security incident.


Every port facility shall draw up an appropriate port facility security plan for the ship/port interface, including all three security levels. The plan, which must be approved by the corresponding government, should be developed following a Port Facility Security Assessment, which should be carried out beforehand, identifying the risks and threats affecting the port facility. This assessment will determine the vulnerability of the port facility.

The Plan should be drawn up taking into account the outcome of the Port Facility Security Assessment and the Code guidelines and should include, inter alia, measures to:

  •     Prevent weapons, dangerous substances, etc. from being brought on board the ship or into the port facility.
  •     Prevent unauthorised access.
  •     Deal with threats and evacuation.
  •     Identification of the Port Facility Security Officer and 24-hour contact details.
  •     Ensure effective protection of cargo and cargo handling equipment.

The State-owned Ports Body has developed a methodology for security assessment and drawing up port facility security plans, including an IT tool, called SECUREPORT, which has been approved by the Spanish Home Office.


Every port will have a Protection Officer, although the same person could be appointed Protection Officer of more than one port. The Protection Officer of Port Installations(OPIP) must have the required training and experience so that is properly able to carry out his responsibilities.

Port facility security plan

The Port Authority of Castellon has carried out the Port Facility Security Assessment and drawn up the Port Facility Security Plan for the entire port which, in turn, includes the review of all the assessments and security plans of the port facilities in the Port Authority’s service area, so as to ensure protection against anti-social risks (attacks, hijackings, piracy, terrorism, etc.) and in compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.

Access control for individuals

People wishing to enter the port are divided into two categories:


Port facility staff who have a Port Community identification card can access the port freely. There are different types of cards, depending on the staff and the type of access requested.

There are three types of authorisations, depending on the number of times access is required:

Port Community identification card. This may be requested from the Port Authority of Castellon for all staff employed in the port facility by filling in the application form and sending it to the Port Operations Department.

Visitor identification card. This card can be requested by the staff working for companies who require frequent access to the Port of Castellon by filling in the application form and sending it to the Port Operations Department.

Identification card for staff working for subcontractors. This is applicable to all subcontractors that have to carry out work for a specific period of time in the Port of Castellon. To apply for the cards, the subcontractor must send the application form by fax to the Port Operations Department. Prior to the start of the work, it must also facilitate additional information such as:

  • The facility or place where the work will be carried out.
  • The service to be provided.
  • Time the service is expected to last.

Should this card be lost or mislaid, the Port Authority of Castellon must be notified immediately, so a duplicate identification card can be requested.

No identification cards, in any shape or form, shall provide authorisation to access vessels or port authority facilities.


People who are not members of the Port Community and who wish to enter the Port of Castellon must have a valid reason for doing so, and must have submitted the documentation requested under the following headings:

  • Embarkation and disembarkation of crew members. The ship’s agent must send the following information at least 24 hours before the arrival of the vessel at the Port of Castellon:
    • Name of the vessel
    • Means of transport if applicable
    • List of names and Identity card/Passport/Navigational Identity Card, etc. of the crew. The ship’s agent will inform all visitors and re-embarking crew that they will be required to carry an identity document to leave and enter the port premises.
    • Date and approximate time of embarkation/disembarkation
  • Passenger vessels. The list of passengers must be uploaded on the Single Port of Call Document (DUEWEB), which can be accessed at any time through the computer tool managed by PORTEL. The vessel must have a system of accreditations for staff, crew and passengers that must be shown to the Spanish Civil Guard or Port Police when requested.

Monitoring vehicle access to the port

Vehicle entry and exit access control is carried out by a number plate reading system with a computerised database of authorised vehicles.

The Port Police may ask any person or vehicle seeking access to the Port for identification. Should their visit, or that of the vehicle they are driving, not be justified, or should a person refuse to provide identification if requested to do so by the Port Police, access will be denied.

Vehicle access will be subject to one of the following conditions:

Vehicles with a barrier-opening card. Vehicles that have this identification card can access the Port via the lanes set up for this purpose at the access control point.

Vehicles without a barrier-opening card. Vehicles that do not have this identification card must use the manual lane and show their identification to the security guard service, either with the identification card for access to restricted areas, or by means of a personal identification document to be checked against the list provided by the Port Police.

Other vehicles. As a general rule, entry to the port premises must be requested for all services and vehicles wishing to enter the port. Access should be requested by faxing the following information to the Port Control building and to the Port Security Officer at least 24 hours prior to arrival at the port:

  • Name of port facility
  • Service to be performed / reason for visit
  • Name and Id of person(s), and vehicle registration number(s), if applicable
  • Date and approximate time of arrival