Port Safety and Security


The Harbor and Safety Inspection (HVI) is responsible for the safety and environment in all the harbors and territorial waters of Curaçao under the authority of the Harbor Master. Strategically located in the Southern Caribbean, the territorial waters of Curaçao reach an area of 12 miles off the coast of the island, including “Klein Curaçao” (Small Curaçao). As of 2001 the HVI offices have been incorporated in the Curacao Pilots Organization (CPO).

The Harbor and Safety Inspection provides the following services:

  • Registration of vessels, yachts or pleasure-crafts belonging to the residents of Curaçao
  • Inspection and registration of yachts
  • Insurance of navigation licenses and registration
  • Granting of navigational permits. This permit is required for navigation outside the inland waterway
  • Permit for transit and import of explosives
  • License for foreign yachts

Maritime Treaties

Several formal regulations and international treaties apply to ports of Curaçao:

  • Marpol
  • Solas
  • Collision Regulations
  • Load lines
  • Standard of Training
  • Certification and watchkeeping
  • Tonnage
  • ISPS-code
  • IMDG-code


IMO_ISPS logoThe Port of Willemstad and its port related facilities are in compliance with the International Ships & Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as of July 1, 2004. The ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

The ISPS Code is implemented through Chapter XI-2 Special Measures to enhance maritime security in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974. The Code has two parts, one mandatory and one recommendatory.

In essence, the Code takes the approach that ensuring the security of ships and port facilities is a risk management activity and that, to determine what security measures are appropriate, an assessment of the risks must be made in each particular case. The purpose of the Code is to provide a standardized, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities through determination of appropriate security levels and corresponding security measures.

The following locations offer certified port facilities:

Curaçao Mining Company Refineria ISLA S.A. CPA Otrobanda Wharves
Curaçao Port Services Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) CPA Caracas Bay
Dry-dock Company Inc. CPA Mega Cruise Terminal Port of Willemstad

Search and Rescue Facilities

Curaҫao’s Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) operates 24-hours a day as a SAR (Search and Rescue) Mission Coordinator for Curaçao SAR region. The Curaçao SAR plan provides an overall Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Plan for the effective utilization of the SAR system for both military and civilian purpose.

The Curaçao RCC maintains a communication link with the United States Coast Guard and can use its Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) when needed.

Fire Fighting

Curaçao has a modern firefighting department with five stations spread across the island. In the port area the Isla Refinery and the Curaçao Drydock Company have their own firefighting brigades with modern equipment and materials to prevent and fight industrial fires. Furthermore, the KTK Tugs are also equipped with firefighting tools.