Security levels have been defined, in order to easily and clearly communicate the extent of the threat present in a port.
Security Level 1: “Normal Risk” minimum appropriate security measures must be maintained at all times.
Security Level 2: “Increasing Risk” appropriate additional security measures must be maintained for a period of time as a result of the increasing risk of a security incident.
Security Level 3: “Incident Imminent” further specific security measures must be maintained for a period of time, when a security incident is probable or imminent, although it may not be possible to identify the specific target.
The Security Level is set by the port state and indicates what security measures should be taken. Before entering a port the Ship Security Officer must communicate with the port to find out which Security level is applicable. A ship can never have lower Security level than the Port Facility.