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Title: Port infrastructure: enhancing port security
Sectors of Transport: Transport, Maritime & inland waterways
Weblinks: ,
Port infrastructure: enhancing port security

Port infrastructure: enhancing port security



Directive 2005/65/EC on enhancing port security


  • 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 EU 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 on ship and port facility security and the measures laid out by the Commission in May 2003 (COM(2003) 229 final). Together, these provide the necessary framework to protect the whole chain of maritime transport logistics (from the ship to the port, the interface between the ship and the port 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 set out according to the perceived risk (normal, heightened or imminent threat), namely:
    • security level 1: the level for which minimum protective security measures must be maintained at all times;
    • security level 2: the level for which appropriate additional protective security measures must be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk of security incident;
    • security level 3: the level for which further specific protective security measures must be maintained for a limited period of time when a security incident is probable, although it may not be possible to identify the specific target.
  • EU countries must notify the security level in force for each port and any changes to the security level.

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 issues related to port security 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.


It has applied since 15 December 2005 and it had to become law in the EU countries by 15 June 2007.


Following the COVID-19 outbreak and introducing measures to cope with the impact of the crisis, the European Commission adopted:

Communication from the Commission — Guidelines on protection of health, repatriation and travel arrangements for seafarers, passengers and other persons on board ships.


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)

Successive amendments to Directive 2005/65/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value 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, 20.1.2009)

Commission Regulation (EC) No 324/2008 of 9 April 2008 laying down revised procedures for conducting Commission inspections in the field of maritime security (OJ L 98, 10.4.2008, pp. 5-10)

See consolidated version.

last update 04.05.2020

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