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The International Ship and Port Security Code are an independent agreement to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention on International maritime security, including measures for commercial vessels, ports, government organizations and shipping zones. It was developed by the IHTCC (International Shipping Container Corporation) and its member organizations in June 1987 with the support of the United Nations Security Council. Its main features are uniformity in application and standards of performance, improved identification and reporting of risks, improved supervisory control, and consistent application throughout the entire shipping industry. Its key features are to be consistent in determining the safety conditions for all involved parties, especially vessels, in the handling, transport and storage of hazardous materials.

The Identification of Shipping Ports (ISPI) was responsible for establishing the IHSQC (International Shipping Container Code). This international standard has been acknowledged by shipping industry as a globally recognized system of navigation and maritime security. The purpose of this code was to provide a globally consistent method of identifying, tracking and regulating the safety of shipping activities. The International Ship and Havenbeveiliging Code was also designed to provide a system of international control for the shipping industry.

The International Standardization Program is another important association that defines the design of safety systems required by the shipping industry. The International Standardization Program for Identification of Shipping Ports was established to establish a worldwide standard system for the identification, tracking and regulating the security of ships engaged in international trade. It is a permanent decision of the United Nations Security Council that all member states must adopt and maintain a uniform system of identification and reporting of ships carrying international cargo. The IHSQC is another instrument of the United Nations Security Council, which for the most part decides on the requirements for registration of shipping companies and rules and regulations related to them.

This Program establishes a system of universal technical standards for identifying ships carrying international cargo. This is done through a globally recognized symbol called the IEC 6001. ISIPC also determines the identification codes used in ship shipping and the respective registration numbers. There are many other international marine security conventions related to shipping that need to be implemented and managed by the shipping sector itself. These conventions are designed to harmonize the technical aspects of security in the shipping industry as well as to maintain consistency in the approaches and methods of identification, tracking and controlling. Some of these conventions are incorporated into IHSQC but the organization continues to work on developing a globally accepted standard for identification of ships carrying international cargo.

International shipping is subjected to various legislative and regulatory developments. These laws and requirements affect the security measures adopted by shipping companies. These legislative developments are primarily related to customs and maritime protection against criminal acts and violence. Developing new security legislation is considered by shipping sector to be an important step towards maintaining security in the shipping industry. The development of new legislation and revisions to existing legislation are being pushed by various countries as part of their efforts to enhance the security measures in the shipping industry.

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