JIS News

The port security programme, which was carried out to meet the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (IMO ISPS) Code was successfully completed, making Jamaica one of the first countries to be accorded security certification for its ports.
Transport and Works Minister, who made the announcement in Gordon House on June 14, informed that the new security system has been operating effectively over the past 11 months, boosted by the recently acquired Aracor X-ray machine.
He noted that with this addition, and the seven Vaccis X-ray machines, security operations at the island’s ports would be brought up to an optimum level. “We are committed to providing the safest cargo and cruise ship facilities in the Caribbean,” he stated.
The Transport and Works Minister said a recent audit of the island’s port security system by some nine relevant United States agencies, have indicated that where compliance is concerned, Jamaica is the most impressive in the region.
To this end, he said the American authorities were desirous of using the security profile of the port as a model for the region, a move that could see some “beneficial considerations for the Port Authority of Jamaica.”
Presently, installation of some 39 cameras to provide coverage for the monitoring of the terminal by close circuit television is being completed at a cost of $185 million.
Minister Pickersgill noted that since meeting the IMO ISPS Code requirements of trading partners the United States, there has been an increase of some $1 billion in the revenue intake by the Customs Department.
The heightened threat of terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 events in the United States resulted in the IMO establishing a July 2004 deadline for all ports involved in international trade to meet a designated security profile. Additionally, the United States instituted guidelines of its own to act in tandem with the IMO requirements.
The Jamaican government appointed the Port Authority as the “designated authority” responsible for port security under the code and approved a $1.2 billion security programme for the island’s major international cargo and cruise ports.

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