Enhanced port security can help the in the facilitation of international maritime traffic and the prevention of stowaways. A national workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone (6-10 November) is one of a series assisting ports with the highest number of stowaway incidents to address these issues.
Meetings with key stakeholders responsible for maritime security and facilitation are being used to gauge knowledge of national legislation, port facility security plans, local organization of maritime security and facilitation, and inter-agency cooperation through security and facilitation committees. This is being followed up by port visits, to assess the physical security which is currently in place. Five ports were visited during the exercise: the Queen Elizabeth II Quay (Water Quay), Petrojetty Limited, Pepel (Shandong Steel), Nitti I (Vimetco) and Nitti II (Sierra Rutile Ltd) Ports.
In addition, participants are trained to plan and conduct effective self-assessments and internal/external audits of port facilities, in line with IMO guidance on voluntary self-assessment.
Consultants will also assess the port’s compliance with stowaway provisions in IMO’s Facilitation Convention and with recommendations adopted by a regional conference on stowaways held in 2014. The national workshop is being funded by the Government of Denmark and contributes to the IMO World Maritime Day theme for 2017: Connecting Ships, Ports and People.