“Maritime and port security: public interest or private business?”

What is the role of private organizations in the management of security? Should States be sovereign on these aspects?

Chairman: Laurent GALY, French National Institute of Maritime Safety and Administration (ENSAM), (France).

Four international participants from the public and private sector both presented their point of view on the subject: M. Chris TRELAWNY, Special Adviser to IMO’s Secretary General, M. Christophe CLARAMUNT, Professor and Director of the IRENav (French Naval Academy Research Institute), M. Hussein Mowlid ADEN, Director in Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority and Ms. Kathy DUA, Port of Antwerp Safety Consultant. “What is the role of private organizations in the management of security? Should States be sovereign on these aspects?” This report presents both syntheses of the conference (I) and participant by participant (II).

  1. Maritime and port security: public interest or private business?

Security, which means preventing malevolent acts, is implemented on several levels in the maritime field and ports: the ship, the port and its infrastructures. Cyber-criminality is added to other threats such as terrorism, piracy and various traffics. Around one cyber-attack is revealed each week. In the aftermaths of 09/11, maritime and port industries have considered safety as a major concern. Thus, IMO, which implements security of shipping, defines in 2003 in its IPSP Code the responsibilities of the public and private actors in the field of navigation and port safety.

Maritime and port fields level unique security stakes. Due to economic and geopolitical reasons, security threats are a major stake. In fact, hampering ports and shipping should have major effects on States and their economies due to the role of shipping in their economies. Besides, the relative isolation of ships at sea involves them furthermore to these topics.

Maritime and port security is first of the States’ responsibility due to their sovereign mission of guarantee of public order. The implementation of security allows to struggle against criminality in general and needs for collaboration of various services of the State such as port State inspectors and police. Security is also of public interest because of the major role that shipping had in the economy of a country. For instance, 78% of the GDP of Djibouti comes from its port activities.

States gather to implement maritime and port security at the international level. IMO is the place for international cooperation in that field. Besides the ISPS Code, which implements security for ships and port infrastructures (security plans, inspections), IMO also develops security through Codes of conduct for regions impacted by piracy. An example is Djibouti Code of conduct, which contributes to struggle against actions of pirates from Somalia.

Security is also implemented by the cooperation of public authorities at the regional, national and local levels. In the European Union, States are inspected by the European Commission, which verifies the good implementation of the ISPS Code, publishes reports with recommendations and sometimes fines. For instance, the commission inspected the port of Antwerp in 2007: it deemed efficient its safety system for oceanic terminals but underlined the need for a security plan for the entire zone. States have a key role especially due to their means (sovereignty, financial, legal), to their role of inspection of local systems and thanks to collaborations that they can build. In 2012, for instance, Djibouti created its national coastguards, with the cooperation with the US Coast Guards. At the local scale, ports also have an important responsibility in the implementation of safety.

Security topics directly threaten maritime and port activities. It is also a private business due to its economic stakes: private stakeholders have a major role to play in the implementation of security. Djibouti’s port activities are, for instance, currently threatened by maritime terrorism, traffics (drugs, weapons, human beings) and illegal immigration. The ISPS Code puts in place, for instance, security plans that maritime companies must write, implement and tried out. Private initiatives can also be proved essential in the implementation of security. In Antwerp, for instance, public-private forums are held every year thanks to a private initiative (think-tank and members of the civil society).

Security procedures and measures must not slow down the economic activity. Thus, for instance, it would be unthinkable to fence the port of Antwerp for security reasons since 409 km of public roads cross the 130 km2 of the infrastructure.

Private players must cooperate with the public players for the implementation of security. In the field of cyber threats, for instance, initiatives of formation implemented by the chair of cyber-defence of naval systems are developed in cooperation between industrial companies (DCNS, Thales) and State structures (Naval Academy, CO Cyber, DGA…). Another example: following an audit of the European commission of 2007, the authorities of the port of Antwerp have begun a close cooperation with safety services. Belgian local security committees gather authorities from the port, the maritime police, the local police, safety teams and users. Also, public and private players work together within an information network that collects remarks on unusual events. They participate in joint formations and exercises.

To conclude, maritime and port security is both public and private players’ business and interest. The efficiency of the implementation of security is thus depending on the cooperation of those actors. In order to face major threats, the current international challenge for security is the application of the ISPS Code and the harmonization of safety and security standards (FAL Convention of IMO). The formation of public and private players remains a major stake.

  1. Syntheses of the participants
  • The approach to maritime security – Chris TRELAWNY

IMO (International Maritime Organisation) is a specialized agency of the United Nations created in 1948 in order to deal about maritime issues. In a nutshell, IMO’s motto is “safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans”. This definition shows the two main aspects of this organisation: safer shipping and cleaner oceans. In order to reach this goal, especially in safety and security, IMO has developed some conventions that deal with specifics points. The most famous are the Load Lines (which deals about safety of merchandises), the MARPOL (on maritime pollution), and especially the SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea), which includes security items and charge public and private actors with responsibilities on shipping and port security. Specials measures are reinforced by the ISPS Code (adopted in 2003, in the aftermaths of the 9/11).
IMO is funded by flag State. Panama is thus the biggest contributor to this international organization, because it gives 17% of its global budget.

With all these conventions, IMO contributes to abolish piracy in three regions: Somalia with Djibouti Code of Conduct, Gulf of Guinea with another Code of Conduct and in South-East Asia with the ReCAAP (Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia). IMO has also played an active role in struggling against migrants’ traffics.

Maritime issues have changed between 2004 and today. Threats have evolved: piracy and armed robbery have fallen while cyber-attacks, terrorism, wildlife affect and illegals traffics have increased. Also, sustainable development is new issue and prevention against terrorism has grown better. Ports create wealth. Port safety is both efficient and effective.

However, there is a huge challenge for maritime safety and security: the need for a cooperation between the ports players – public and private actors, national, regional and international actors. The aim is to succeed in harmonising standards and norms, best practices and to build a real cooperation. The FAL Convention (Convention on facilitation of International Maritime Traffic), adopted in 1965 (which came into force in 1967 and soon amended by the FAL 40 in 2017; theses amendments will come into force in 2018), is the best tool of IMO in that field. Its goal is to improve harmonization and simplify procedures and documentation used for international shipping. But to reach this goal, practices must be improved, especially through “win-win concessions”. Moreover, the ISPS Code must be promoted and implemented.

To conclude, it is essential for every players of port activities to help for expansion, with more cooperation and improve security and safety, which include struggle against traffic and corruption. We need more standardization, more training. Aerial sector is the best model for possible enhancement.

  • The Cybersecurity applied to maritime field – Christophe CLARAMUNT

We can see in our modern societies a progressive extent of the use of computers and automatics and in industry in particular. That extend go with a general spreading of malevolent software, forming up an exploding threat for last years. In 2007, synchronised devastating attacks in Estonia against official sites, media, bank system is a clear step into cyber-warfare era. Then in 2010, Stuxnet virus destroyed centrifuges of the Iranian programme for uranium enrichment. This is another huge step into attacks by Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), able to target industrial objectives, such as SCADA systems (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition for industrial automatons). Theses APTs implement complex and specific architectures of attacks, written in planned strategy and conducted in long lasting time. And today, there are no more weeks without big scale cyber attack reported in media.

France is conscious of theses threats, at political level (Bockel Report 2012), at strategic level (Strategic Defence and Security Reviews (Livre Blanc) of 2008 and 2013), at joint level… Chief of Defence Staff considers cyberspace to be the 5th warfare environment after land, air, sea and space and this global warfare is carried out by the Cyber General Officer in Strategic Joint Headquarters (CPCO in Paris Balard). In this framework were created Cyber-defence of Naval Systems chair, but also many education initiatives, partnership with academies (Naval Academy, Telecom-Bretagne…) and industry actors (DCNS, Thales). French State is committed with new and reinforced structures such as Cyber Command, Armed Forces Services Headquarters, DGA (delegation for armament), ANSSI (National Agency for Security of Information Systems), CALID (Analysis Centre for Cyber-defence)…

Maritime actors are especially sensible to cyber threat, due to geopolitics and business concerns. In addition, maritime world is very vulnerable: ships at sea are partially isolated, with limited crews and more and more complex technologies aboard, controlling almost all the ship’s functions and some of the more vitals (navigation, engines, weapons systems for warships). Theses systems are quickly deprecated (on average one ship’s life lasts 30 years), leaving the ship more vulnerable faced to the constant development of the cyber threat. More than ships, it is also a whole ecosystem of ports, harbours, oil and marine renewable power infrastructures that can be targeted. All the situations caused by human actions, mistakes, failures can be provoked by cyber-attacks (missile launching, load ripping, collision, grounding, oil spill…), with human consequences (passenger ships), and other damages.

Cyberspace is physical, logical and social. Threats really exist and come from States, enterprises, criminal or terrorist organisations, hackers. This cyber-war is included in a global information war that covers military and industrial intelligence, psyops… Organisations are more and more targeted. APT are developing.

To be secured, a system needs to guarantee availability of its service, integrity of information and confidentiality of its secrets. Security policies are technical and non-technical (physical protection, organisation, human considerations).

Cyber-security is composed of cyber-protection (protection to prevent attacks), cyber-defence (detection, adaptation, response) and cyber-resilience (continuation of mission).

In this very complex framework, Naval Systems Cyber-defence chair conducts research around issues like SCADA, real-time, sensors, AIS signals.

Cyber, in spite of appearing nebulous to seafarers, is now completely integrated in their work environment. Cyber-security has become a significant base for safety, and for security as well.

  • From French enclave to Strategic crossways: The prominence of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa – Hussein Mowlid ADEN

Since 2008, Djibouti port facilities have welcomed and furnished a set of services to more than 300 navy ships per year. Regarding the extension of the only US African-based permanent base and the current re-settling of the French navy, Djibouti became an international hub involving new cooperation methods. The last opening of the IMO funded centre for regional maritime activities underlines the importance of Djibouti for the international community.

Djibouti is now in a capacity growing process regarding its maritime infrastructures. Both the Djibouti Port Administration and the free zone authority are looing closely to these activities that would enhance the leading role of the Port in the region.

Djibouti is also a port of importance because of its commercial activities. As a former French colony, a major part of its existing infrastructures are coming from this heritage. Moreover, Djibouti is situated in a strategic crossway between many routes linking Europe, Asia and Eastern Africa. 78% of Djibouti’s GDP is related to port activities. The existing infrastructures are the port, a free zone, an oil terminal and a container terminal.

Since 2009 Djibouti represents a world-ranked hub and is continuously increasing its commercial traffic. Between 2009 and 2015, we can notice an obvious increase in trade particularly in the field of containers. Between 2008 and 2015, more than 40 navies used Djibouti port facilities within the framework of trade securing in this strategic area.

The Republic of Djibouti is widening its port and maritime infrastructures. The Djibouti Port Administration and the Free Zone Authority are keeping an eye on these developments and will ensure the compliance with international rules.

In the medium and long term, Djibouti plans several new infrastructure projects for a total of 40 billion US dollars: a gigantic and quite ambitious project built on many sites all over the bay, on a great part of the coastline and in the inland. For instance, this project plans the building of new terminals, shipyards, rail transport infrastructure and new free zones.

The port of Djibouti and its activities are currently facing various threats: maritime terrorism, which is a consequence of the weakening of the neighbouring States and the development of piracy (Somalia, Yemen), but also drug trafficking and arms dealing with Djibouti as crossroads to Europe and Asia.

Because of its strategic situation on the coastline, Djibouti is also a central point for human beings trafficking. Djibouti’s backcountry is synonymous with an influx of migrants from Africa in direction of the Arabic Peninsula and Europe.

The government of Djibouti focuses its maritime policy on security, safety and marine environment. As a matter of facts, Djibouti has ratified most of international agreements such as the SOLAS convention or the ISPS Code. The compliance with international standards remains key for this State, which wants to make trade as easy as possible. This led to the creation of national coastguards four years ago, in collaboration with US Coast Guards. Djibouti is also an important operational centre of the international fighting system against piracy, which is warning but still rife in the region.

Djibouti and the rest of the continent need regional and international cooperation between private and public actors for the establishment of security measures. National security plans submitted by Djibouti every year are revised and put into place with the support of the US Coast Guards, particularly for the training of port safety personnel. The cost of safety is very high. The part of safety spent in Djibouti is 2 to 3%, higher than in most other African States. The investment proves to be key because an ineffective safety would have serious economic consequences for this country.

In view of the current economic situation and budget cuts, questionings remain: who should pay? Should recipients or economic operators pay? Should we consider it as public service or as national safety measures?

  • Public-private Partnership in Port Security – Kathy DUA

Mrs Kathy DUA, security and safety consultant for the port of Antwerp introduced the original security management of this huge 130km2 for 163km of quay infrastructure. For obvious economic and efficiency reasons, turning a port into a closed zone seems impossible and quite unrealistic. In fact, 409km public roads cross the port area.

The security plan of the port of Antwerp was designed in a narrow partnership between the port authorities and both the users and the public services. Since 2004, ship captains have the responsibility of the implementation of the ISPS Code requirements. But a real security strategy was expected from port authorities and port State both: the port security plan (PSP) was a crucial step in Belgium in order to fight against diverse threats, from criminal activities to terrorism. The speaker and the audience underlined the responsibility of the State in the prevention of radicalization phenomena. This public-private partnership has been fostered by the “National Authority – Maritime Safety”, which conducts maritime safety policies backed for this by various administrations (Defence, Environment, Foreign affairs, etc.). This policy is conduced by the “Local Committees – Maritime Safety, gathering port authorities, maritime police, local police, security teams and users (dockers, captains, owners etc.)

Every year, public-private forums, initiated by think-thanks and the civil society gather federal judicial police, task forces, attorneys and seamen to discuss port security and specific measures for Antwerp issues. Such initiatives enlighten the tremendous need in the sea world for complementarity between the three levels of security (ship security, port facilities security, port security). ISPS Code chimes plainly in this path. However, despite the multi-actor cooperation and the procedures and specific measures of the port, State must remain the milestone of port security. That is the vision of security in the port of Antwerp.

Innovative systems have been implemented in the port. The port information network is one among many examples. This system is a common online platform for port authorities, users and public forces centralizing reports of unusual observations by everybody noticed everywhere in the port zone.

The joint formation for public and private actors to create common values and reflexes is absolutely necessary to ensure a high standard security level. Then, large-scale exercises are implemented each year in the port (Flash Fire in 2010, Winterwatch in 2011, Black Wolves in 2014…). Experience reports are systematically addressed to national authorities.

Complementarily, additional to official guidelines including the European Commission European handbook of maritime security exercises and drills (Exercitium), the port of Antwerp has developed video-ludic instruments to apprehend a complex and technical environment: the very serious game « Port of Antwerp security game » is a unique way to do it.

Port security is a constant challenge that needs various supports, encompassing both prevention ex ante and a capability to manage terrorist and criminal occurrences ex post. In a fiery security context, in a strategic environment as the port of Antwerp, maritime security must be a common work. There is a need for a well-balanced intelligence involving the private sector and public services.

Proceedings written by students of ENSAM, Wednesday 12 October 2016, Nantes.

  • A3AM Marine JASPERS – ENSAM (National School of Safety and Administration at Sea)
  • A1AM du CHAZAUD – synthesis of the presentation of Mr Christophe CLARAMUNT
  • A3AM JASPERS – overall synthesis
  • ASP JEZEQUEL – synthesis of the presentation of Mr Chris TRELAWNY
  • ASP LEPERLIER – synthesis of the presentation of Mrs Kathy DUA.
  • ASP THOLO – synthesis of the presentation of Mr Hussein Mowlid ADEN

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