SUMMARY 2004-07-09 08:08: Per reftel request, we interviewed Spanish officials regarding marine security programs. No single GOS agency is responsible for marine security. Each regional port authority is responsible to assure that ports in its jurisdiction comply with International Ship and Port Facilities Code (ISPS) protocol. Ports of State (or Puertos de Estado), loosely affiliated with the Ministry of Public Works, has been helping ready applicable ports for ISPS compliance, although it is not directly responsible for any port security issues. Contacts from the Ports of State informed us that they were confident preparations for the 1 July deadline would be met, and that they believe the state of port security in Spain is generally higher than in most European ports due to Spain,s experience with homegrown terrorist groups. Spain,s Merchant Marine is responsible for ISPS and Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations for applicable ships. Additionally, the USG and GOS are collaborating on several security initiatives. The Department of Energy's (DOE) Megaports Initiative continues to progress, with a DOE team arriving for a familiarization tour of the Port of Algeciras in late July. The Container Security Initiative will begin implementation in late July as well when a USG-owned scanner will be lent to the GOS for use in Algeciras. END SUMMARY. SPAIN,S ISPS PLANS: PORT FACILITIES ¶2. The ports of Spain are implementing a series of port security measures to comply with the ISPS. According to Pedro Roman, Safety and Security Department Manager of Infrastructures and Port Services Directorate, the ISPS code only applies to 50 port facilities in Spain, known as Ports of General Interest (or Puertos de Interes General). They are designated as such because of their international importance or volume of traffic. Ports of General Interest are overseen by the Ports of State of Spain through 27 regional port authorities. According to Roman, only those Ports of General Interest that receive ships carrying loads greater than 500 gross tons and/or receive any international passengers must comply with the ISPS. Each regional port authority (and not the Ports of State) is directly responsible for assuring compliance by all ports within its jurisdiction. Roman reiterated that Spain's ports do not have a true centralized management structure. Because of this fact, there is no fully-coordinated port facilities security plan. The individual port authorities will develop their own security plans within the context of the ISPS code. ¶3. The ports that are not Ports of General Interest are known as Autonomous Ports (or Puertos Autonomos). They answer to the Ministry of Public Administration. Autonomous Ports are generally not involved in international trade, with the exception of specialized businesses such as shipment of salt to France and Italy. They mostly service local fishing, transportation, or commercial activities. Per Roman, these ports are not required to comply with ISPS, and are not being briefed on its requirements.