AQUAPOL, the European Maritime Police carried out a pilot test in 4 Spanish ports, including Gijon


AQUAPOL is the association of maritime and port Police of the EU and Switzerland, which is responsible for security in the maritime, river and lake in Europe. Guardia Civil del Mar participates from Spain, and also Puertos del Estado (State Ports) and Ministerio del Interior (Home Office) collaborate with this test.

In February 2012, a meeting held in Madrid dedicated to define a control procedure of loading up on passenger ro-ro vessels, attended by representatives from France, England, Italy, Portugal was decided in a pilot to use control technologies for passenger, baggage and vehicles in shipping lines of mixed type, to serve cargo and passenger vehicles in 4 Spanish ports this traffic type, with Ferry or Motorway of the Sea services in: Santander, Gijon, Barcelona and Valencia.

This initiative is part of the implementation of the ISPS Code of IMO (International Ship and Port Security), the European Directive 2005/65/EC to improve port security, and Royal Decree 1617/2007 for better protection in Spanish ports and shipping

In Europe are moved annually over 400 million passengers in ferry services, cruise liners. Of this amount, 20 million are cruise passengers and 380 million Ferries, vessels and SSS services and Motorway of the Sea passengers, so it is important to strength the security of passengers, vehicles and cargo.

It seeks to define new procedures on the one hand to improve security and not to cause another bottleneck that delayed the departure of ships. 5 cases were defined:

  1. Passenger car

  2. Passengers walk

  3. Passengers on a bike

  4. Bus Passengers

  5. Professional truck

Gijon was prepared together with the Civil Guard and the Port Police, a control device which revised the 100% of passengers, vehicles, trolleys, bags, backpacks, computers, handbags. This system involves having scanners, metal arches and sufficient staff to access times may be long, and also to keep costs under control.

AQUAPOL is working with EUROPOL, the European Police, which in turn cooperates with INTERPOL, the International Police, since shipping is itself international. Vessels are connecting Europe to neighboring countries in North Africa, Turkey, Russia and non-EU European countries like Norway or Switzerland. The test was a very good experience for the Port of Gijon and will help to strength the security provided in the Motorway of the Sea services