Page 18: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2004)
The Cruise Shipping Edition
Plans. Collectively, these components of the MTSA establish a layered securi- ty strategy that significantly strengthens and standardizes the security measures for the domestic port security team of federal, state, local and private authori- ties. Just as important, successful implementation of the MTSA require- ments will bring the United States in compliance with the new International
Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS)
Code. All nations participating in inter- national maritime trade are required to be in compliance with the ISPS Code by
July 1. 2004.
Before any effective security measures can be implemented, there must be a vulnerability assessment. The MTSA requires certain waterfront facility and vessel owners/operators to conduct vul- nerability assessments of their respec- tive facilities and vessels and to submit a report to the Coast Guard. The MTSA also designates the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) as the Federal
Maritime Security Coordinator (FMSC) and charges him or her with completing a vulnerability assessment of the mar- itime domain within his/her zone. These vulnerability assessments evaluate the potential consequences (loss of life, eco- nomic. environmental, etc.) associated with a terrorist attack, as well as the probability of success of such an attack based on the existing physical security measures.
The first layer of security in the port rests with the owners and operators of waterfront facilities and vessels: they have primary responsibility for the secu- rity of their property. Once the facility and vessel vulnerability assessments are complete, the MTSA requires that the owners/operators develop and imple- ment security plans to address how they will reduce their vulnerabilities to an acceptable level. These facility and ves- sel assessments and security plans had to be submitted to the Coast Guard by
December 31. 2003 for approval and implementation by July 1, 2004.
This is a huge undertaking affecting an estimated 3,200 waterfront facilities and about 8,500 vessels nationwide. This requirement includes passenger vessels, container ships and vessels or facilities that carrying or handle hazardous mate- rials. Additional security requirements include everything from passenger, vehicle and baggage screening proce- dures to security patrols, personnel iden- tification and even the installation of surveillance equipment.
For security reasons, the Coast Guard is not providing the names of facilities and vessels required to submit plans or who have failed to submit a vulnerabili- ty assessment or security plan.
However, compliance has been excel- lent, as of February 2 over 90 percent of the required plans have been received.
The second security layer begins with the Area Maritime Security Committees created to assist the Coast Guard FMSC in developing the Area Maritime
Security Plan. The MTSA requires the creation of an Area Maritime Security
Committees within every COTP zone in the United States. Each committee is composed of representatives from feder- al, state and local agencies with a stake in port security as well as representa- tives from Native American tribes and the maritime industry. In addition to assisting the COTP/FMSC with devel- oping the Area Maritime Security Plan, the committee also "builds an awareness of port activities, identifies risks,
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