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state and Federal law enforcement agen- cies.

The Conference Report implies that the vessel operator is responsible for providing antiterrorism deterrence secu- rity measures, but may rely fully on government agencies, such as the Coast

Guard, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Defense to handle any response that may be required in the event that a terrorist inci- dent does occur.

It is recommended that the Coast

Guard immediately provide the regulat- ed community with guidance regarding how it interprets this provision and seek comment thereon. It is recommended that the Coast Guard limit itself to rec- ommending that vessel owners and operators identify responsible providers of security measures for potential use, while relying primarily on government law enforcement agencies, as indicated in the Conference Report. The MTSA. though, allows such a short deadline between promulgation of the interim rule by the Coast Guard and compliance by the ship owner or operator that it will be extremely difficult for owners and operators to vet responsible providers of security measures unless they have some earlier indication of what may be required. This early indication could be provided by means of a Notice, a

Navigation and Vessel Inspection

Circular (NVIC), or even a news release. After all, the MTSA has exempted this rulemaking from various requirements of the Administrative

Procedures Act.

Consistency with National and Area

Maritime Security Plans

The MTSA, at 46 U.S.C. § 70103(c)(3)(A), requires that the U.S.

VSP "be consistent with the require- ments of the National Maritime

Transportation Security Plan and Area

Maritime Transportation Security

Plans." When will a National Maritime

Transportation Security Plan be issued?

When will all of the various Area

Maritime Security Plans be issued?

Rather than rushing to publish such

National and Area plans so that vessel operators can make their security plans consistent, it is recommended that the

Coast Guard waive compliance with this provision until the next iteration of a ship's U.S. VSP following publication of the National and Area Maritime

Transportation Security Plans. This will provide the Coast Guard time to draft well-considered plans and to put them out for public comment.

Security Incident Response Plans

The MTSA. at 46 U.S.C. § 70104, requires that the Secretary establish security incident response plans for ves- sels and facilities that may be involved in a transportation security incident.

These plans, which may be included in the U.S. VSP. must provide for a com- prehensive response to an emergency, including notifying and coordinating

Government Update with local, state, and federal authorities (including FEMA): securing the vessel or facility; and evacuating the vessel or facility personnel. It is unclear from this provision exactly what Congress




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March 2003

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.