The U.S. Coast Guard is rapidly preparing for a July 1 deadline
that will see vast changes to the security climate in ports, port facilities
and vessels around the world.
A new international code and U.S. law requires vessels and facilities
implement security measures designed to protect the world's global shipping
industry from terrorist attacks. The International Ship and Port Facility
Security Code and the Maritime Transportation Security Act require ports and
vessels to control access, monitor activity, and screen personnel, baggage,
cargo, and vehicles.
Under the U.S. law and the international code, port facilities and vessels
must implement the new security measures
by July 1. Some of the key
milestones leading up to this deadline include:
* Security plans received from 99 percent of required U.S.
vessels and facilities
* Alternative Security Programs used by two-thirds of the
vessels that submitted plans
* Initial reviews completed on most facility and vessel plans
* Area Maritime Security Committees established in all U.S.
The Coast Guard is also preparing to verify international compliance with
the new requirements by:
* Boarding every vessel, at sea or at the dock, on its first
visit to a U.S. port on or after July 1;
* Taking additional security precautions or denying entry into
U.S. waters for non-compliant vessels on a case by case basis;
* Tracking vessels coming from non-compliant ports. Those
vessels may be subject to delays until their security status can be verified
through a Coast Guard boarding;
* Visiting countries to evaluate antiterrorism measures in
their ports with the host nation and;
* Exchanging information with and providing training to
foreign countries to assist with interpretation and implementation of the