McAllister Yard, NYC.

McAllister Yard, NYC.
McAllister Yard, NYC. Courtesy, Capt. Paul Brown

Monday, November 30, 2015

Big Changes Coming Soon to Coast Guard's Homeport Website

On November 27, 2015, the Coast Guard made an announcement concerning its Homeport website via Maritime Commons (http://mariners.coastguard.dodlive.mil/2015/11/27/11272015-homeport-2-0-news-and-information/ ). The information is also posted on the Homeport website, http://homeport.uscg.mil .
We have been hearing for quite a while about upcoming changes to Homeport – these changes are happening and happening soon. Below is the text of the announcement from the Homeport/CG-FAC website:
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Homeport Internet Portal (HIP) was established in 2005 to facilitate compliance with the requirements set forth in the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002, by providing secure information dissemination, advanced collaboration, electronic submission and approval for vessel and facility security plans, and complex electronic and telecommunication notification capabilities.
Since its inception, HIP has been expanded to provide additional support such as Transportation Worker Identification Card New Hire; Electronic Vessel Response Plan; Marine Event Permit Process; Port Status Indicator; Merchant Mariner Licensing and Documentation; Marine Training and Assessment Data (training documentation); Merchant Mariner Certificate; Sea Service Calculator; Merchant Mariner Verification of Certificates; and Merchant Mariner Credential Survey
The Coast Guard will launch Homeport 2.0 Jan. 29, 2016 in order to provide a better user experience and improve the security of user information. Upgrades will include fewer site navigation menus and more efficient and secure search functions.
Although most features will be available as soon as the new site launches, user access to a few conveniences may be interrupted. Review the Homeport 2.0 Deployment Schedule for details. Functions that are essential to maintaining port security or that are critical to continuing the flow of commerce will remain available during the transition period.
Alternative solutions are available for most features taken offline during the transition. Anyone who needs access to a service normally obtained through HIP should contact the appropriate subject matter expert listed in the Homeport 2.0 Deployment Schedule.
From the Deployment Schedule:
Uninterrupted services:
 · TWIC new hire procedures
· Port status query
 · Merchant Mariner Application Status
· VRP Express
· Vessels & facilities search
· Merchant Mariner Credential Verification
· Merchant Mariner Sea Service Calculator
· Most core CG accessible-only functions
Services unavailable Jan. 29 - March 31, 2016
· Mariner Training & Assessment Database
 · Security Plans Temporary
· Merchant Mariner Credential Survey
 Services unavailable Jan. 29 - April 30, 2016
 · Merchant Mariner Certificate
· Marine Event Application Temporary

The FAQ document (http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg544/docs/Homeport_2%200_FAQs_AllUsers1%201.pdf) lists work-arounds for most unavailable services in a Deployment Schedule (http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg544/docs/Homeport%20Application%20Deployment%20Schedule.pdf ). There is a separate FAQ document (http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg544/docs/Homeport_2%200_FAQs_CommunityOwners1%201.pdf ) for community owners, who need to pay careful attention to deadlines. The deadline for migrating community content is January 29, 2016.  This is a hard deadline. “Legacy Homeport will be taken offline as of Jan. 29, 2016, and community owners should make all efforts to meet this deadline. Any content that is not transferred will be auto-archived and will not be easily accessible.”