Foreign ships will have to carry electronic identification system to enable ports identify ships at sea.
Israel has embarked upon a much stringent security policy as a direct result of the September 11 terror threat and the fear from terror organizations trying to strike from the sea.
The Israeli Ministry of Transport advised the international shipping industry that as from July 1st it will prohibit foreign ships from entry into any Israeli port unless the ship has fully adopted the ISPS security code. In addition, the ministry informed local shipping companies that as from July 1st Israeli flag ships are not be allowed to call ports which have not been ISPS certified .
The new rules require any ship to have an electronic identification system which will enable ports identify ships approaching towards Israeli territorial waters.
Mr. Arie Rona, head of Israeli maritime commission told reporters that so far identification of ships was made by radio communication made by the captains advising the port the name of the ship and its registration port. The advice was made as the ship approached Israeli shores, close to the port of entry.
The new security code will not only require ships to be equipped with an electronic identification system but also to nominate a crew member who will be responsible to identify the crew in the presence of the port security personnel.