Under SOLAS regulation XI-2/10.3 Contracting Governments determine when the
submission of a Declaration of Security (DoS) from a ship is to be required by a port facility.
Section A/5.2 of the ISPS Code specifies when a ship can request a DoS from a port facility.
Paragraphs B/5.1 to B/5.6 of the ISPS Code offer guidance in relation to DoS. The practice of
requiring or responding to requests for a DoS should be set out in the Port Facility Security Plan
(PFSP) and that on requesting a DoS in the Ship Security Plan (SSP).
Though a ship has to comply with a request from a port facility to complete a DoS, a port
facility does not have to comply with a request for the completion of a DoS from a ship, though a
request from a ship to complete a DoS has to be acknowledged by the port facility (section A/5.3
of the ISPS Code). In the same way another ship does not have to comply with the request for a
DoS though it should acknowledge receipt of the request (section A/5.3 of the ISPS Code).
The DoS is intended to be used in exceptional cases usually related to higher risk, when
there is a need to reach an agreement between the port facility and the ship as to the security
measures to be applied during the ship/port interface because, either the provisions of the PFSP
and of the SSP did not envisage the situation or SOLAS chapter XI-2 and part A of the
ISPS Code have not anticipated the specific circumstances as listed in section A/5.2 of the
ISPS Code. There should be a security-related reason relating to the specific ship/port interface
or ship-to-ship activity for requiring or requesting completion of a DoS.
Experience since entry into force of the special measures to enhance maritime security
has shown that DoS are being frequently requested by ships, in part because ships anticipate
being requested to produce DoS covering previous port visits or ship-to-ship activities by duly
authorized officers by a Contracting Government (duly authorized officers) during control and
compliance measures pursuant to the provisions of SOLAS regulation XI-2/9. However, while a
ship can request a DoS the port facility or other ship is not required to complete one.
Unless there are specific security reasons for doing so relating to the specific ship/port
interface or ship-to-ship activity, a ship should not request a DoS. The circumstances specified
in section A/5.2 of the ISPS Code should apply. A DoS should not normally be completed if
both the ship, port facility or other ship covered by the ISPS Code are operating at security
Under section A/5.2 of the ISPS Code a ship can request completion of a DoS when:
- the ship is operating at a higher security level than the port facility or another ship
it is interfacing with;
- there is an agreement on a Declaration of Security between Contracting
Governments covering certain international voyages or specific ships on those
- there has been a security threat or a security incident involving the ship or
involving the port facility, as applicable;
- the ship is at a port which is not required to have and implement an approved port
facility security plan; or
- the ship is conducting ship to ship activities with another ship not required to have
and implement an approved ship security plan.
Duly authorized officers can inspect those DoS that have been completed during the last
10 calls at port facilities and any evidence that the request by a ship for a DoS, during the period
of the last 10 calls at port facilities, where applicable, was acknowledged by a port facility or
another ship even though the port facility or the other ship did not comply with the request. Duly
authorized officers should not expect ships to have DoS covering all previous port calls or