Virgin Islands Government committed to upholding provisions of ISPS Code
Government is committed to ensuring ship and company security officers in the Virgin Islands are accredited in accordance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
This was confirmed by the Director of the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry (VISR) Captain Baboucar Sallah during the opening today of a three-day training course in ship and company security, which is being held at the Marine Centre of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in Paraquita Bay.
Nearly 30 participants are enrolled for the January 9-11 course that is being offered free of cost through the Transport Security Division (TRANSEC) of the United Kingdom Department of Transportation, the Shipping Registry and HLSCC.
The training course will be offered to other local participants from January 13-15 and from January 16-18. Funding and facilitators have been provided the UK Government.
“We are committed to observing and maintaining the highest standards of international best practices because we believe in and are committed to the ISPS Code and its objectives,” the Director of Shipping said. He added that company and ship security officers in the Virgin Islands will reap important benefits from the training.
HLSCC Vice President Dr. Karl Dawson said security issues have gained greater attention in recent years.
“Within the last five years or so a multi-billion dollar security industry has really developed,” he said. Dr. Dawson noted that concerns about security are particularly grave within the ferry and tourism sectors, while welcoming the broad cross-section of companies and agencies that were represented at this week’s ISPS training course.
Mr. Richard Hussey of the London-based Maritime and Underwater Security consultants, who will serve as a course facilitator, said that the role of ship security officers has been recently upgraded within the ISPS Code and now requires those officers to hold additional Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) qualifications.
He said participants of this month’s training courses will be the first ship security officers to receive certificates that will also have STCW accreditation.
“That is a very expensive piece of paper that you are about to get,” he said while adding that it will enable the trainees to perform their duties more effectively and advance their careers in ship or company security.
The Shipping Registry operates under the Premier’s Office and, among other things, implements the maritime policies of the Government covering shipping operations, safety of life at sea, security and the prevention of, and response to, pollution from ships. It also enforces regulations applicable to Virgin Islands vessels wherever they may be, and for all vessels navigating in the territorial waters of the Virgin Islands.
Source: BVI News