A Hodgepodge of Maritime Security Laws Come into Question
Two recent reports have raised alarms about the security of our ports and the cargo that enters them by containers every day. The top North American container ports handle more than 35 million containers per year bringing vital goods to U.S. homes and companies every day. Without this freight, our economy would be at a standstill. But one nuclear device placed into a shipping container could wreak havoc not just at the port it enters, but also with the surrounding population of our busiest ports such as New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Long Beach.
This article reviews those reports and asks whether the measures implemented by the U.S. adequately address the increasing concerns surrounding maritime port security, especially in light of the recent Boston bombing.
Maritime security for the U.S. consists of a hodgepodge of laws, regulations and agencies responsible for making sure our ports and the cargo that enters it are secure. Since 9/11, Congress has passed a number of laws that address maritime security, including the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (Safe Port Act) and the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. Authority to administer those laws falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is divided between various DHS entities, including the United States Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration, FEMA (which administers the Port Security Grant Program), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), among others.
DNDO and CBP share responsibility for detecting nuclear materials that may be placed in a shipping container and enter the U.S. undetected. Earlier this year, in February 2013, DHS Inspector General (IG) issued a report on the state of the Radiation Portal Monitoring Program administered by CBP and DNDO. This report raised a number of serious questions about the program that is supposed to monitor and detect nuclear devices that may be placed on board a ship entering a U.S. port. Under the Safe Port Act, all containers entering the U.S. at the 22 busiest ports must be screened for radiation. DNDO tests, acquires, deploys and provides maintenance for large-scale radiation detectors, called radiation portal monitors (RPMs), during the first year of operation; thereafter, CBP has the lead for operating and maintaining the RPMs.
The IG found that while there are 444 RPMs operating at seaports throughout the U.S., and all cargo is being screened, some RPMs were utilized infrequently or not at all. The IG also found the two DHS components, CBP and DNDO, do not fully coordinate or centrally manage the RPM program to ensure effective and efficient operations. In response to this critique, the agencies agreed to do better in the future.
The CBP has relied largely on a trusted shipper program, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), to ensure the safety of cargo being shipped into the U.S. from the largest ports around the world. Participation in this program is voluntary and its members include various groups within the maritime industry, including but not limited to shippers, ocean carriers, logistics providers, freight forwarders and manufacturers. C-TPAT has been effective in pushing the borders of trade and security outside the U.S.; however, its success depends largely on its members to conduct due diligence and ensure the safety of the cargo. This is because only a small percentage of containers bound for the United States, approximately four percent, are actually scanned overseas prior to entering U.S. ports. The remainders are simply screened.
In addition to the RPM Program and the C-TPAT Program, CBP has implemented the 24-Hour Advance Manifest Rule, which allows CBP to screen cargo before it is loaded in a foreign port on a vessel bound for the U.S. by requiring the electronic transmission of vessel cargo manifest information to CBP not less than 24 hours before the cargo is loaded on that vessel in the foreign port.
As the result of a Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration initiative to improve security in the U.S. transportation system, the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program was implemented in 2007. The TWIC program mandates the use of a tamper-resistant biometric credential issued to maritime workers, or other authorized individuals, to access secure areas of port facilities and vessels. The goal of the programs is, in part, to enhance security by determining those individuals eligible for authorized unescorted access to secure port facilities and ensuring that unauthorized individuals are denied unescorted access to secure port facility areas.
At the time the TWIC Final Rule was published in 2007, it did not require maritime owners and operators to purchase and install TWIC compatible card readers, however, through the course of a pilot program, it was anticipated that such card readers would eventually be in place. Six years later, the start-up period for card readers remains slow, with implementation of card readers mostly non-existent due to delays in developing card reader technology. This has resulted in criticism from the industry and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which recently identified the program as flawed and proposed that DHS explore other alternatives.
Notwithstanding the ongoing criticism and delays, the Coast Guard is moving forward with this port security initiative, as evidenced by new rules proposed by the Coast Guard on March 22, 2013, which would require vessels and maritime facilities deemed high risk to install electronic TWIC card readers, rather than rely on visual inspection of the cards alone. Public comment on the proposed rules remains open until June 20, 2013, and with high level criticism from both Congress and industry members, the future of the TWIC program remains unclear.
Since 9/11, a debate has persisted whether all containers must be scanned for nuclear and other hazardous materials or whether the current process to simply screen a percentage of suspicious containers for harmful goods is adequate. The 9/11 Commission recommended that all containers be scanned. As a result, and in furtherance of this goal, Congress passed a law, the 9/11 Commission Act, which required 100% of containers to be scanned by July 1, 2012, and also granted the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to waive this deadline, for a period of two years at a time, under certain circumstances.
Since the implementation of the 9/11 Commission Act, DHS tested the 100% scanning requirement in enumerated ports such as Hong Kong, Oman, Pakistan, South Korea, and the UK, in a program called the Secure Freight Initiative. However, none of the ports were able to meet the 100% scanning requirement and still keep the cargo moving in an expeditious manner. As noted by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano before the House Homeland Security Committee in 2012, the scanning requirement was neither practical nor affordable.
As a result, in May 2012, the Secretary officially granted a waiver of the requirement for a period of two years, as the law allowed her to do, thereby postponing the mandate that all inbound containers be scanned. In a letter to House and Senate Homeland Security committees, the Secretary noted that the extension was necessary because implementing the requirement at this time would “have a significant and negative impact on trade capacity and the flow of cargo.”Additionally, she found that foreign ports lack the physical space and configuration for efficiently routing cargo through inspection stations.
Recently, in light of the Boston bombing, a number of maritime security experts have questioned whether the U.S. is doing enough to protect our seaports, the cargo entering those ports and the population from a smuggled nuclear device in a container. At a May 29, 2013 panel on “Nuclear Terrorism: What’s at Stake”, hosted by the American Security Project in Washington, D.C., as reported in “Security Management” (http://www.securitymanagement.com/print/12510), Dr. Stephen Flynn, a professor at Northeastern University, said that “smuggling through shipping containers is already happening on a daily basis, which demonstrates the possibility of a nuclear device, planted by terrorists to go undetected.” His concerns were echoed by other panelists, including David Waller, the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Rear Admiral (ret.) Jay Cohen, former Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology. According to Waller, “[n]uclear material arriving at a U.S. port in a container, in all likelihood, has arrived from elsewhere, and [was]shipped undetected from elsewhere” making international cooperation “very important in securing our ports.” Cohen agreed that the nuclear threat was very real, stating that “[i]t’s only a question of where, when, and to what magnitude.”
What are the Administration and Congress Doing to Respond to the Threat?
Recently, the Administration has proposed merging all security grant programs into a block grant that would be primarily administered by the states. This block grant would include the port security grant program, known as the “Port Security Grant Program” (PSGP) administered by FEMA. This program gives grants to the highest risk ports to acquire equipment on a DHS approved list and awards grants for other port infrastructure improvements to further port security. The program was originally authorized at $400 million a year and funded largely at that level. However, the authorized and appropriated level of funding has declined substantially since 9/11 and the current 2013 fiscal year funding remains only at $94 million, leaving scant resources to be divided among the major U.S. ports. This funding is directed towards the implementation of Area Maritime Security Plans (AMSP) and Facility Security Plans (FSP) among port authorities, facility operators, and State and local government agencies that are required to provide port security services.
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has objected strenuously to both the block grant approach and the reduction in funding. In a May 14, 2013 letter to the leadership of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, AAPA stated that “[o]ur economy, our safety, and our national defense depend largely on how well we can construct and maintain a security infrastructure at our ports,” and urged the Subcommittee to increase Port Security Grants to prior years’ funding levels.
On June 7, 2013, the House passed H.R. 2217, the Homeland Security Appropriations bill for FY 2014. The bill reduced overall funding for DHS by $617.6 million below the FY2013 enacted level, and $34.9 million below the President’s request. On the House Floor, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) offered an amendment to cut, then add back, $97.5 million for port security grants to stress the importance of these grants. Her amendment was agreed to. Subsequently, the White House advised Congress that the President will veto H.R. 2217 because it reduces funding for the Department and is not part of an overall budget for FY2014. The White House did credit Congress for giving some additional flexibility to the Secretary in allocating grant funds.
Ports are certainly more secure than they were before 9/11. But since 9/11, we have also lost sight of the critical role ports play in our economy and transportation system. Funding on port infrastructure and port security has steadily declined. And, in some ways, port security has been the stepchild of our transportation security program. Yet, one nuclear device smuggled into a container and into a U.S. port could wreak devastation on that port, the surrounding community, and our economy. The Congress and Administration should work together to improve funding for port security and port infrastructure and to ensure closer coordination among the responsible agencies, giving thought to creating a lead agency in DHS for port security and in the Department of Transportation for a new port promotion agency.
(As published in the July 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - www.marinelink.com)
to be that our aircraft, boats and cutters are aging, technologically obsolete, and require replacement and modernization," Collins told the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee on March 4. Two weeks later, during his "State of the Coast Guard" address at the National
Outlook for WRDA This article describes the impact of the “sequester” and budget showdowns on ports and port security, and also gives a preview of the House-Senate Conference on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). On the one hand, ports and port security have been severely hampered by the ongoing
Keeping our woters safe, secure and open for business As new international and domestic regulations regarding shipping security enter force, the focus is not simply on security, but also on maintaining a healthy flow of commerce to keep the U.S. and world economy humming. U.S. Homeland Security
N a t i o n a l Targeting Center (NTC): Prevention & Response The priority mission of CBP's N T C is to provide tactical targeting and analytical research support for CBP anti-terrorism efforts. Experts in pas- senger and cargo targeting at the N T C operate around the clock using tools like the Automa
when he was still in the Coast Guard. And he took concrete steps to make sure we were carrying out our responsibilities. Are there missions currently housed elsewhere that the Coast Guard could more efficiently take on? We should talk about this in context to any capacities and capabilities that
Minimizing the risk of a water-borne or delivered terrorist attack is no small responsibility. Maritime Reporter visited recently with U.S. Coast Guard LCDR Stephen M. Midas. Chief, Planning and Risk Management Department, Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads, for some insights. When historians document
How are we to implement an effective Maritime Security Program? When terrorists hijacked aircraft and used them as weapons, a significant paradigm shift occurred in how we view security in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created and we were witnesses to the largest shift in
up. This article will break down the talk into segments on the continuing resolution that funds the government for the rest of this fiscal year: the House and Senate budget resolutions, the upcoming debt ceiling fight; and, finally, the President’s budget request for FY2014. The focus is on maritime
The horrific attacks on 9-11. and the subsequent increase in maritime security required to protect against asymmetric maritime attacks, has dramatically changed the U. S. Coast Guard. They have changed the service's emphasis on port security as well as its ethos in the eyes of the nation it serves.
H.R. 3983, the "Maritime Transportation Antiterrorism Act of 2002," was passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T & I) Committee on March 20. The legislation was introduced by the bipartisan leadership of the Transportation Committee, including: Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), Chairman
(TEA 21) next year, when the current legislation expires in September. TEA 21, AIR 21, and Amtrak reauthorization will be debated at the same time. The House Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee also approved $150 million for port security grants in Fiscal Year (FY)'03 appropriations, with the
and one of the mature players. And even though tion of vehicles (and really, existing vehicles did to a point) it is owned by maritime and subsea power-house Kongsberg, have an open architecture platform,” said Fotheringham. “The it maintains its innovative roots, and in fact has made “a sig- vast majority
MTR 10 0 institutions to develop and promote responsible autonomous ASV Global operations at sea. Portchester, Hampshire, U.K. Autonomous and robotic systems have emerged as one of www.asvglobal.com the biggest areas of technological growth in recent years. CEO/President: Thomas Chance Signi? cant
MTR 100 Since 2001, FarSounder has been perfecting a sonar that Farsounder could show mariners where the water is safe to navigate. Its innovative 3D FLS, built in house from the ground up, now al- Warwick, RI 02888 lows vessels look ahead and navigate with con
MTR 10 0 OSIL OSIL offer a wide range of adapt- able products to both commercial and academic sectors. Instrumented Data Buoys and standalone plat- forms can be equipped with multiple sensors to monitor a wide variety of water quality and metocean pa- rameters, or can incorporate a new piece of developin
MTR 10 0 DCL Mooring & Rigging Deep Ocean Engineering DeepSea Power & Light New Orleans, LA San Jose, CA San Diego, CA www.dcl-usa.com www.deepocean.com www.deepsea.com CEO/President: Cody Schnuriger CEO/President: Li Fang CEO/President: Mark Olsson DCL has been a supplier, partner and Deep Ocean Engineering
Australia. Currently the company is building systems to operate at 10,000m depth. Its advanced laser and optical based imaging systems were developed in-house and are now used world- wide in offshore energy, renewables, environmental moni- toring, mapping, archaeology and for collecting evidence on salvage
conditions around the affected area, Hydrex diver/technicians can carry out these operations on vessels in port or at anchor. Hydrex has an in-house R&D department that can take care of the engineering aspects of an operation. In this way turnkey solutions can be offered for both simple everyday
– in itself a new concept within the subsea industry use in oil and gas and defence applications with an objective – which uses what HMI calls its in-house full stack robot- to increase reliability, ef? ciency, capability and safety. ics capabilities. HMI’s ? rst investor was oil? eld services gi- ant
Oceanology International will connect you u with 2,750 buyers and in?uencers from the e Americas looking for innovative solutions to improve mprove strategies for exploring, monitoring, developing and ng and EXPECTED ATEXPECTED AT protecting the world’s oceans. Oi Americas 2019Oi Americas 2019 Demonstrat
employs approximately 100 peo- ple between two locations in Wareham, Massachusetts and Boca Raton, FL. Ed- On-Time • In Budget geTech has extensive in-house testing facilities including a test pool, acoustic test tank, pressure test chamber and two Top Quality • Safety Focused company research vessels
a driving force in getting Repre- sentative Duncan Hunter (R-San Diego) to focus on BlueTech years ago. After Jones’ testimony in Washington, D.C. at the House Sub-commit- tee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transporta- tion, the Congressman submitted a bill to cre- ate a BlueTech Center of Excellence within the
MTR 10 0 ABOVE: Industry icon and long-time MATE competition judge Marty Klein speaks to the all-female ROV team from Saudi Arabia during the 2017 international event. LEFT: Students of different ages, genders, and ethnicities compete in MATE. Images: MATE II Jill Zande, President/Executive Director
The United States Navy, led by Admiral John Richardson who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, a master’s degrees in electrical en- gineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and National Security
THE has made in its strategic global footprint. Resolve has more RESOLVE. Throughout the next 10 years, the company fully stocked and owned response warehouses globally oversaw salvage jobs in the Caribbean, working on vari- than any other provider, including Florida, Alabama, and ous small freighters and
safely machined with no nuisance dust and installation is workboat operator Alexis Marine has selected Thordon’s quick and easy. The ? rm offers in-house design, CAD and RiverTough bearings to replace the rubber bearings in two the proprietary Thordon Bearing Sizing Calculation Pro- tugboats. Having
manufactur- ing factory, with complete fabrication, machining, painting, assembly and testing carried out at the facility. All equip- ment is designed in-house for mechanical, hydraulic, elec- trical and electronic design. Thrustmaster manufactures hy- CEO/President: draulic and mechanical tunnel/bow thrusters
MN Communications / Technology / SoftwareCommunications / Technology / SoftwareCommunications / Technology / Software 100 THE COMPANY: WheelHouse Technologies, Inc. was founded in 2006 by Barry Kallander, submarine service veteran and USCG Licensed Master with a vision to improve the availability THE
MN Communications / Technology / SoftwareCommunications / Technology / SoftwareCommunications / Technology / Software 100 CEO/President: James Espino Gnostech THE COMPANY: Gnostech is an applied engineering and consulting com- THE COMPANY: pany that supports the maritime industry, Department of David
could show mariners where the water is safe to navigate. for defense and commercial applications. A mobile tech in- Their innovative 3D FLS, built in house from the ground novator, KVH provides solutions for commercial maritime, up, now allows vessels look ahead and navigate with con- leisure marine
Partner: Pat Folan Tug & Barge Solutions THE COMPANY: Coastal, Inland and Western Rivers. Tug & Barge Solutions is a safety He was a member of the USCG’s and compliance company that focus- Towing Safety Advisory Committee es on Subchapter M compliance for (TSAC) and a sub-committee chair towing
MN Service Providers / Distributers 100 tion-inspired, agile technology company dedicated to sustain- ing and strengthening its leadership role in the industries that it supports. And, ABS continues to address the key challenges facing the shipping industry today: digitization and connectiv- ity, cyber
military applications. For over three decades, FCI Watermakers has engineered and guaranteed the highest quality materials for a USA-manufactured, in- house built, dependable product, keeping costs low for customers. FCI Watermakers’ systems are designed to be fully functional in harsh marine environments
them with USCG- riod of time, the college has achieved and everything in between. Engi- neering courses are available from approved courses. It also houses Texas’ an enviable reputation for providing ? rst associate degree program in mari- meaningful and valuable marine train- engine room fundamentals
center is able to provide a new and upgraded gine Room Resource Management, Quali? ed Member of level of learning for all students. This new facility houses the Engineering Department, Management of Electrical 3 interactive Full Mission Wheelhouse bridge simulators. and Electronic Control Equipment