Industry Issues


The safety and security of ships, cargo and personnel is critically important to the liner shipping companies that are members of the World Shipping Council. As their representative, the World Shipping Council supports the consultative approach taken by the U.S. government and the European Commission with the objective of implementing measures to enhance security without impeding the timely flow of legitimate commerce.

In support of the on-going work to enhance maritime, cargo and supply chain security, the World Shipping Council has established a U.S. Security Advisory Committee, a European Security Advisory Committee, and various supporting working groups comprised of representatives from member companies. The primary role of these committees and work groups is to analyze, propose and implement measures at the national, regional (EU) and/or international level for the enhancement of the security of ports, vessels, cargo and personnel.

The World Shipping Council shares the recommendations of its Security Advisory Committees with other stakeholders and with policy makers and actively participates at the following advisory groups and international organizations:

In the United States:

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC), which WSC President, Chris Koch, chaired from its inception in 2004 through 2009.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Trade Support Network (TSN)

In the European Union:

  • Trade Contact Group -- the advisory group of trade associations and companies assisting the European Commission's General Directorate on Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD)

At the international level:

  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a Consultative Observer
  • World Customs Organization (WCO) Private Sector Consultative Group
  • International Standardization Organization (ISO)
  • The Administrative Committee of the Customs Container Convention of 1972

Cargo and the Supply Chain

A number of regulations and voluntary programs have been implemented at the national, regional and international levels to enhance the security of the international supply chain while facilitating the flow of legitimate cargo. More information on them is available at:

Vessels and Ports

International liner ships and the port facilities at which they call adhere to the international standards and procedures set forth in the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which became effective on July 1, 2004. In addition the ISPS Code, the IMO, other international organizations, and the United States have implemented additional programs and requirements to enhance the security of vessels and port facilities. Learn more


The World Shipping Council and its member companies are working with governments on programs to improve the processes for screening personnel working in the maritime industry and to ensure that seafarers are given an opportunity to go on shore leave when they have fulfilled a port states' landing requirements. Learn more


Maritime piracy is a crime under international law and as such has been a concern to the shipping industry for some time. The piracy crisis in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, and now in the wider Indian Ocean, continues and has raised public awareness of the problem.  The World Shipping Council and its member companies are taking steps to reduce the risk that vessels will be successfully hijacked and are working to assist governments in addressing the issue. Learn more