Port security refers to the defense, law and treaty enforcement, and counterterrorism activities that fall within the port and maritime domain. It includes the protection of the seaports themselves, the protection and inspection of the cargo moving through the ports, and maritime security.
The importance of port security is equally matched by its vulnerabilities to terrorist attack on port facilities and given the overwhelming number of ships and containers, there are many areas of concern regarding the security of our ports. The high volume of trucks entering and exiting port facilities pose a threat to the port, as well as surrounding geographical areas. The challenge is to ensure that there is sufficient cooperation and coordination among the many stakeholders and law enforcement agencies to make the security measures work. Internationally, port security is governed by rules issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its 2002 International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.