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IMO Chief Says Only 6% of International Ports Ready for ISPS

Mr. Mitropoulos also said that the IMO has only accepted 1,933 security plans out of the 12,283 submitted by commercial vessels. He stressed that the deadline will not be extended.

The ISPS, adopted after September 11, 2001, was enacted to protect ports and vessels from terrorists. The code requires port staff and ships? crews to regularly conduct anti-terror drills, restrict the number of weapons and visitors aboard vessels, and have attack contingency plans in place.

Mitropoulos said, ?Shipping handles 90 percent of the world?s trade. If anything should happen, half the world would starve.? The IMO chief was on a two-day visit to Singapore to watch an anti-terror exercise in what is considered one of the world?s busiest ports. The U.S. Coast Guard and China?s Maritime Authority also observed the simulated terror attack on a container ship.

Singapore already complies with the IMO security code, and its Maritime and Ports Authority said it will turn away non-compliant ships.