Port Security

The volume of individuals and materials passing through the Ports and wide range of commercial activities taking place within and adjacent to the Port Boundaries necessitate a rigorous and detailed approach to Port security.

The Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO) is the authorised person responsible for security in the RAK Ports Group. To keep the risk of security incidents to a minimum, security policy and procedures are applied across all ports within the group. These rules have been laid down by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the International Ship & Port Facility (ISPS) Code.

The ISPS Code applies to:

  • Cargo ships of 500 tones gross tonnage and larger, which sail on international sea routes;
  • Passenger ships which sail on international sea routes;
  • Mobile drill rigs;
  • All port facilities where the above-mentioned vessels berth. 

The security level is part of the ISPS Code. The federal government sets the security levels for port facilities. The level for seagoing vessels is set by the flag state or the port state. In the event of increased threat, the security level is raised and vessels and terminals must take extra security measures. The General Authority informs the persons responsible for security at port facilities (PFSO) about changes to the security level.

Security levels:

  1. Normal situation: standard security measures are applicable
  2. General increased threat: stricter security measures are implemented
  3. Specific threat: extremely strict security measures are implemented

In accordance with the ISPS Code, terminals which handle seagoing vessels are obliged to draw up a risk assessment and a security plan. The ISPS test team (police, customs and Port Authority) evaluates the risk assessment and the security plan. The team advises the PFSO on approval of the documents. Seagoing vessels must also draw up a risk assessment and a security plan. They are evaluated by the flag state of the vessel or on behalf of the flag state by a registered security organisation.