Port infrastructure: enhancing port security

People, infrastructure and equipment in European Union (EU) ports must be protected against security incidents and their devastating effects. This directive complements the measures previously presented by the Commission in May 2003 and in Regulation 725/2004 to enhance the security of ships and port infrastructure.


Directive 2005/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on enhancing port security (Text with EEA relevance) [See amending acts].


The main objective of the directive is to introduce measures to improve security in European Union (EU) ports in the face of threats of security incidents. To achieve this, the directive aims to establish an EU framework to guarantee a high and comparable level of security in all European ports. This framework shall consist of common basic rules on port security measures, an implementation mechanism for these rules, and appropriate compliance monitoring mechanisms.

This directive complements Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 and the measures presented by the Commission in May 2003 (COM(2003) 229 final). This directive on port security, together with Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 on ship and port facility security, provides the necessary framework for protecting the whole chain of maritime transport logistics (from the ship to the port via the ship/port interface and the whole port area) against the risk of unlawful attacks on EU territory.


The directive applies to people, infrastructure and equipment (including means of transport) in ports and adjacent areas.

Port security authority and security plans

EU countries must designate a port security authority for each port. A port security authority may be designated for more than one port. This authority is responsible for identifying and taking the necessary port security measures in line with port security assessments and plans.

EU countries must ensure that port security plans are developed, maintained and updated, with a detailed description of the measures taken to enhance port security (such as the conditions of access to ports or the measures applicable to baggage and cargo). EU countries must also monitor security plans and their implementation, and specify penalties for non-conformity.

Security levels

Different security levels are established in line with the perceived risk (normal, heightened or imminent threat), namely:

EU countries must communicate the security level in force for each port as well as any changes thereto.

Port security officer

EU countries must approve a security officer in each port. Where possible each port should have a different port security officer. However, if necessary, several ports may share a security officer. These officers act as the contact point for port security related issues and should have sufficient authority and local knowledge to adequately ensure and coordinate the establishment, updating and follow-up of port security assessments and port security plans.


EU countries must ensure that port security assessments and port security plans are reviewed every time security-relevant changes occur, and at least every 5 years.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2005/65/EC



OJ L 310, 25.11.2005

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) 219/2009



OJ L 87, 31.3.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2005/65/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.


Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Report assessing the implementation of the Directive on enhancing port security [COM(2009) 002 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 324/2008 of 9 April 2008 laying down revised procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of maritime security [Official Journal L 98 of 10.4.2008].

Last updated: 29.07.2011