By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
SECURITY and safety in the Balearics' main sea ports is going to have to be upgraded to comply with international maritime security standards in accordance with a central government directive approved in Madrid yesterday.

The new security measures apply to all of the country's sea ports handling international cruise traffic and merchant vessels with displacements of over 500 tons and also applies to all port installations and infrastructure used by cruise liners.

Palma is one of Spain's busiest cruise ports, in particular during the summer, and is going to have to comply fully with the new security and safety directive which is going to be based on European Union safety and security regulations approved by the International Maritime Organisation in 2005. What is more, as part of the new security shake up, clear response procedures will be drawn up and the various organisations involved in the running of the Balearics' ports will be given clear guidelines as to their responsibilities in the event of a security or safety breach.

Palma, along with all other main local ports, will also introduce a three level security level guide.
This plan should indicate the operational and physical security measures the port facility should take to ensure that it always operates at security Level 1.

The plan should also indicate the additional, or intensified, security measures the port facility can take to move to and operate at security Level 2 when instructed to do so.

It should also indicate the possible preparatory actions the port facility could take to allow prompt response to the instructions that may be issued at security Level 3 - the maximum under the new scheme.

The Palma Port Authority is also required to nominate someone who will be responsible for security and safety assessment and it will be he or she who will have to make the call should the threat level need to be increased.

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