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Security for ships and port facilities

Security for ships and port facilities



Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security



  • All EU countries must fully apply the amended SOLAS and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code to international shipping by 1 July 2004. For the main domestic passenger ships, the deadline is 1 July 2005.
  • By 1 July 2007, all EU countries, after conducting a mandatory security risk assessment, must decide the extent to which they apply the measures to other categories of domestic shipping.
  • Each EU country informs the IMO, the European Commission and other EU countries of the measures it has taken. These include details of contact focal points for maritime security designated by each EU country.
  • Ships covered by the special measures and intending to enter an EU port must provide security information to the relevant national authorities:
    • at least 24 hours in advance; or
    • at the latest when it leaves its previous port if the journey time is less than 24 hours; or
    • as soon as its port of call is known, if this was unknown when it departed.
  • Scheduled shipping services that are sailing between ports on their own territory or between 2 EU countries may be exempt from providing pre-arrival information, so long as they do so if requested by the authorities.
  • National authorities maintain a list of companies and ships benefitting from the exemption and update it regularly.
  • By 1 July 2004, EU countries had to designate a focal point for maritime security.

Repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Because the ongoing public health crisis makes it difficult for EU countries’ national authorities to conduct the maritime security inspections and surveys with a view to renewing certain documents in the field of maritime security, Regulation (EU) 2020/698 extends the time limits for reviewing security assessments and security plans for port facilities and ports to enable EU countries and the shipping industry to take a flexible and pragmatic approach, and to keep essential supply chains open, while not compromising security.
  • Regulation (EU) 2020/698 allows some flexibility for maritime security drills and exercises, which the EU legal acts in the field of maritime security, such as Directive 2005/65/EC (see summary), require to be carried out within certain time frames.


It has applied since 1 July 2004.


For more information, see:


Maritime security: a combination of preventive measures to protect shipping and port facilities against threats of intentional unlawful acts.


Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security (OJ L 129, 29.4.2004, pp. 6-91)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Regulation (EU) 2020/698 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 2020 laying down specific and temporary measures in view of the COVID‐19 outbreak concerning the renewal or extension of certain certificates, licences and authorisations and the postponement of certain periodic checks and periodic training in certain areas of transport legislation (OJ L 165, 27.5.2020, pp. 10-24)

Directive 2005/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on enhancing port security (OJ L 310, 25.11.2005, pp. 28-39)

See consolidated version.

last update 08.07.2020