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The international community, in response to the terrorist attacks of 11th of September 2001, has developed a set of initiatives to improve the security of maritime transport and its logistical chain, in particular regarding protection against terrorist threats in maritime traffic.

In this regard, the Diplomatic Conference of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted on 12th of December 2002 amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), such as the introduction of a new chapter, Chapter XI-2, named "Special measures to enhance maritime security" and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), which entered into force on 1st of July 2004.

In pursuit of a similar objective, the European Union has also adopted a number of measures relating to the security of maritime transport, established in Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 of March on enhancing ship and port facility security.

Considering that maritime transport security measures foreseen in that Regulation are only a part of the necessary measures to ensure an adequate level of security throughout the whole transport chain, since the scope of that Regulation is limited to security measures on board ships and on the ship/port facility interface, the European Union approved, in addition to the security measures introduced by the Regulation, Directive 2005/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26th of October, on enhancing port security.

Directive 2005/65/EC contributes to ensuring the highest possible security of maritime and port sectors by introducing port security measures that cover each port within the limits defined by the Member State, thereby allowing, through the security enhancement of port activity areas, a greater effectiveness of the measures introduced by Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004. These measures shall apply to all ports harbouring one or more port facilities covered by Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004.

Decree-Law No. 226/2006, of 15th November was approved with the purpose of: defining the basic structure of the necessary national organization for the operationalization and implementation of Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004 and Directive 2005/65/EC; transposing into national law Directive 2005/65/EC; embracing the procedures and functional execution arrangements of Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004 and Directive 2005/65/EC, namely the applicable supervisory and sanctioning framework, the specific criteria and procedures for Port State Control (PSC) and the minimum competences of recognized security organizations (RSO) for ports, port facilities and ships.

The measures for maritime transport and ports security laid down in the above mentioned legislative instruments, shall apply to the following ships and port facilities/ports serving such vessels:

  • Ships on international voyages: Passenger ships, including high-speed passenger craft; Cargo ships, including high speed cargo crafts, of 500 gross tonnage or more; and Mobile offshore drilling units;
  • Ships on domestic voyages: Class A passenger ships within the meaning of article 4 of Decree-Law No. 93/2012 of 19th of April on safety rules and standards for passenger ships; Cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage or more which travel between the mainland and the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira and between these Regions.

Security measures for maritime transport and ports do not apply to military facilities located in ports.

Under the applicable legislation DGRM is the Competent Authority for Maritime Security.

In order to monitor the implementation by Member States of Regulation (EC) No. 725/2004 and Directive 2005/65/EC, the Commission approved Commission Regulation (EC) No. 884/2005 of 10th of June laying down procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of maritime security, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No. 324/2008 of 9th of April.