Homeland Security Department July 1 announced new regulations for
port and vessel security, requiring security plans for commercial
vessels ranging from cruise liners to cargo ships and approximately
5,000 ports and other facilities.
Hutchinson, the Homeland Security Department’s undersecretary for
transportation, and Vice Adm. Thad Allen of the U.S. Coast Guard
announced the publication of the new rules.
will be up to individual ports to determine the best way to control
access," Allen said.
the rules require more ships to carry "black box" devices
that transmit ship speed, destination and identification to other
ships and to shoreside monitoring stations. Additionally, the new
order is intended to provide instantaneous identification of all
large ships in U.S. waters.
regulations will be published in October, and ships and ports must
implement their security plans by July 2004.
addition to the increased cruise ship security, other measures proposed
by the Department of Homeland Security include:
and cargo may be screened before being allowed on board ships
at times of heightened alert.
of ships and ports will have to assess their vulnerability to
terrorism and develop a plan to counter potential risks. The Transportation
Security Administration and Coast Guard will develop self-assessment
- Local measures
will be buttressed by a national maritime security plan, designed
to work with multiple agencies to develop a countrywide strategy
for protecting ports.
addition to these domestic measures, which will affect an estimated
10,000 vessels and 5,000 ports and facilities across the country,
2,500 foreign ports will be required to evaluate their security
system under development
and Allen also announced an additional $105 million in port security
grants that will be made available later this year to ports and
Transportation Security Administration also is developing a Transportation
Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC card, with pilot programs
under way at three ports, Hutchinson said. When completed, the credential
will be issued as a universal identification for all transportation
facility workers, including truckdrivers.
maritime safety and security teams will be deployed to two additional
ports by the end of the year. The teams, a "rapid response"
security force, are now in place in four regional ports, and the
department has budgeted six additional teams in 2004.