Caribbean port and logistics platform
Logo Puerto de Cartagena SPRC Logo Contecar

Security and protection

Cargo generators, shipping companies and members of the maritime-port community, trust the Port of Cartagena Organization due to its high security procedures. In addition to meeting strict international standards and taking part in best-practice initiatives, the company has adopted all the necessary risk control and analysis measures.

Both terminals are controlled by closed-circuit television security cameras located in a remote location. From this centralized place, all access roads and storage zones are constantly monitored, videotaping everything that takes place 24/7.

There are 45-meter high light masts that cover all areas of the yard, illuminating the perimeter and fences.

Finally, in case of an emergency, support is always available from the organization’s emergency team, its fire engines, Haz-Mat vehicle, and ambulance.

The organization’s firm commitment to maintain the highest security includes providing up-to-date training to its staff using state-of-the-art technology. It can therefore safeguard the integrity of the terminals as a whole, its cargo and equipment, the vessels, and of course, its users. Finally, the port uses information systems that enable it to define potential risks that arise during port operations.

The various security systems contain the following.

  • Access control using smart identification credentials.
  • Digital closed circuit television (CCTV). 
  • Risk analysis.
  • High-technology scanners to verify the contents of containers and pallets.
  • Technical restrictions on unplanned cargo movements.  
  • A security canine team (K9) for search and rescue, detecting explosives, and antinarcotics.
  • A zodiac boat, divers and submersibles for underwater security in marine areas of the sea terminals.

Programs, certificates, agreements and good practices 

Port Security Program (PSP)

Year: 1998
Agreement of wills between the National Police, the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the United States Embassy and SPRC, to create a security trade arrangement with the United States.


Year: 1998
The Business Alliance for Secure Commerce (BASC) is an international business alliance that promotes safe trade, aimed for the private sector and supported by the United States customs service.

Anti-bioterrorism law

Year: 2003
The 2002 public health security and bioterrorism law stipulated that entities that manufacture, process, pack or store foods for human or animal consumption in the United States should register with the FDA by December 12, 2003. The port facilities at the SPRC and Contecar sea terminals were accordingly registered; the registration is still valid.

Protection for Ships and Port Facilities

Year: 2004
The organization’s terminals, SPRC and Contecar, were certified under the International Maritime Organization’s International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). This code belongs to a set of international regulations that works to detect and prevent threatening acts towards ships or port facilities.

Container Security Initiative (CSI)

Year: 2007
The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority highlighted SPRC’s highly developed information systems, technology and security. The US government therefore decided to grant the port the CSI certification.

What is CSI?

The Container Security Initiative (CSI) uses automated intelligence and information to identify potential risk containers through inspection efforts. An efficient preliminary inspection is carried out with high-risk containers using non-intrusive technology to detect dangerous materials.


Year: 2009 
A United States' customs initiative that sets out to forge a voluntary business coalition to prevent legitimate trade from being used for terrorism or related offenses. It arose as a strategy for consolidating security in the cargo logistics chain. Its criterions are incorporated into BASC standards.

Megaports’ Initiative

Year: 2009
The Megaports’ Initiative, signed with the United States Department of Energy, has been included as a program that is parallel to CSI. Six radiation detector portals operated by the DIAN were installed at SPRC for this purpose.

What is the Megaports’ Initiative?

It is one component of the United States’ maritime security strategy. It seeks to provide equipment, training and technical support to detect and prevent the smuggling of special nuclear materials and other radioactive elements via the international maritime system.

ATDI: complementing CSI

Year: 2010
An efficient system that allows the exchange of information between the DIAN and SPRC, as well as between the United States’ customs and the Border Protection Authority (CBP). This is fundamental to the risk analysis process used with Colombian cargo. As a result, the Port of Cartagena has become one of the most advanced ports in the world in reference to the ATDI program.

What is ATDI?

The Advanced Trade Data Initiative (ATDI) is a voluntary CBP program which purpose is to analyze commercial trade information of the cargo entering the United States. The initiative aims to improve the targeting of containers that may impose a risk of terrorism using risk management systems. 

National Cargo Profiling Center (NTC)

Year: 2012
Connectivity and the exchanging of information in real time are two major strengths of the Port of Cartagena’s security strategy. This is why the organization signed an agreement with the National Cargo Profiling Center (NTC) in Washington D.C.