Thursday, July 29, 2010

MTSA 2010

On July 21, 2010 Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced Senate Bill 3969, the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2010. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. This piece of legislation is in the earliest stages of its life and it is anticipated that substantial changes will occur before/if it is passed. All provisions of the bill affect the MTSA community but here are some selections. My comments are in brackets.

SMALL VESSEL SECURITY. The bill requires operators of recreational vessel equipped with propulsion machinery of any kind to carry a certificate, card, or other proof of successful completion of a recreational boating safety course or test that conforms to the National Boating Education Standards as recognized by the United States Coast Guard. There are exemptions for recent purchases, charters, rentals, and persons who have valid U. S. Coast Guard MMD’s. There is a lengthy phase-in for this provision: 3 years after the date of the enactment for operators 18 years or younger, and 7 years after the date of the enactment for all operators.

The America’s Waterway Watch Program is formally established within the USCG, and funded with $3,000,000 annually through 2016. Provisions address immunity for good-faith reporting of suspicious activities, and immunity for response to the report on the part of the authorized officials not entitled to assert the defense of qualified immunity.

TRANSPORTATION OF ESPECIALLY HAZARDOUS CARGOES. DHS will work with the International Maritime Organization and in consultation with the International Standards Organization and shipping industry stakeholders to develop protocols, procedures, standards, and requirements for receiving, handling, loading, unloading, vessel crewing, and transportation of especially hazardous cargo to promote the safe and secure operation of ports, facilities, and vessels that transport especially hazardous cargo to the United States. An IMO work item concerning this transportation is encouraged.

REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION SECURITY INCIDENT MITIGATION PLAN. These plans will establish regional response and recovery protocols to prepare for, respond to, mitigate against, and recover from a transportation security incident consistent with section 202 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (6 U.S.C. 942) [Post-incident recovery.]

ESTABLISHMENT OF A SECURITY INDIVIDUAL. Section 308 states that all U. S. registered vessels five net tons or more or each foreign vessel entering a United States port or a facility on or adjacent to the waterways of the United States, engaged in the commercial transportation of goods or passengers shall designate a U. S. person that is responsible for responding to a transportation security incident involving the vessel while in the United States to notify appropriate emergency response entities and facilitating vessel response activities; and provide notice to the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of the identity of, and contact for such person. [Interesting to see how much of a burden this might be.]

SEAMAN SHORESIDE ACCESS. Section 309 states that each105 facility security plan shall provide a system for seamen assigned to a vessel at that facility, pilots, and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations, to board and depart the vessel through the facility in a timely manner at no cost to the individual. (Does not affect TWIC.)

RISK BASED RESOURCE ALLOCATION. Section 310 states that n carrying out chapter 701 of title 46 (Port Security,) DHS shall develop and utilize a national standard and formula for prioritizing and addressing assessed security risks at United State ports and facilities on or adjacent to the waterways of the United States, such as the Maritime Assessment Strategy Tool that has been tested by the Department of Homeland Security. AMSC’s shall use this standard to regularly evaluate, prioritize, and mitigate each port’s most significant risks. DHS shall utilize the standard when considering departmental resource allocations and grant making decisions. [Will this codify MSRAM?]

MSRAM. Section 311 states that within 180 days after the date of enactment of the Act, DHS shall make the Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Risk Assessment Model tool available, in an unclassified version, on a limited basis to regulated vessels and facilities to conduct true risk assessments of their own facilities and vessels using the same criteria employed by the United States Coast Guard when evaluating a port area, facility, or vessel.

INTEGRATION OF SECURITY PLANS AND SYSTEMS WITH LOCAL PORT AUTHORITIES, STATE HARBOR DIVISIONS, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. The owner or operator of a facility shall—‘(1) make a current copy of the vulnerability assessment conducted under subsection (b) of Section 70102 of title 46, United States Code, available to the port authority with jurisdiction of the facility and appropriate State or local law enforcement agencies; an(2) integrate, to the maximum feasible extent, any security system for the facility with compatible systems operated or maintained by the appropriate State, law enforcement agencies, and the Coast Guard.

[Is there a distinction between the 70102 VA and the 105.300 VA?]

WRITTEN AGREEMENTS REQUIRED BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITYAND PUBLIC OR PRIVATE MARINE TERMINAL OPERATORS. Section 313 addresses these agreements, and states that at a minimum they will cover the terms and conditions for use of the screening devices, including operations and safety procedures. The agreements will include an indemnification and hold harmless clause to protect the marine terminal operator from liability for injuries or damage to individuals or property caused by DHS.

PORT SECURITY TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION. This section amends 46 USC 701 and addresses comprehensive facility security officer training requirements designed to provide full security training that would lead to certification of such officers.

In establishing the requirements, the Secretary shall work with affected industry stakeholders and evaluate 1) the requirements that the training program shall provide; 2) existing security training programs employed at marine terminal facilities; and 3) existing port security training programs developed by the Federal Government.

The training program shall provide validated training that—

(1) provides training at the awareness, performance, management, and planning levels;

(2) utilizes multiple training mediums and methods;

(3) establishes a validated provisional on-line certification methodology;

(4) addresses port security topics, including—

(A) facility security plans and procedures, including how to develop security plans and security procedure requirements when threat levels are elevated;

(B) facility security force operations and management;

(C) physical security and access control at facilities;

(D) methods of security for preventing and countering cargo theft;

(E) container security;

(F) recognition and detection of weapons, dangerous substances, and devices;

(G) operation and maintenance of security equipment and systems;

(H) security threats and patterns;

(I) security incident procedures, including procedures for communicating with governmental and nongovernmental emergency response providers; and

(J) evacuation procedures;

(5) is consistent with, and supports implementation of, the National Incident Management System, the National Response Plan, the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, the National Preparedness Guidance, the National Preparedness Goal, the National Maritime Transportation Security Plan, and other such national initiatives;

(6) is evaluated against clear and consistent performance measures; and addresses security requirements under facility security plans.

CONTINUING SECURITY TRAINING.—DOT will work with State and local law enforcement agencies and industry stakeholders to develop and certify

the following additional security training requirements for Federal, State, and local officials with security responsibilities at United States seaports:

(1) A program to familiarize them with port and shipping operations, requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act, and other port

and cargo security programs that educates and trains them with respect to their roles and responsibilities.

(2) A program to familiarize them with dangers and potential issues with respect to shipments of hazardous and especially hazardous cargoes.

(3) A program of continuing education as deemed necessary by DOT.

TRAINING PARTNERS.—In developing and delivering training under the training program and continuing security training, the Secretary, in coordination with the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation, and consistent with section 109 of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (46 U.S.C. 70101), shall—

(1) work with government training facilities, academic institutions, private organizations, employee organizations, and other entities that provide

specialized, state-of-the-art training for governmental and non-governmental emergency responder providers or commercial seaport personnel and management; and

(2) utilize, as appropriate, government training facilities, courses provided by community colleges, public safety academies, State and private universities, and other facilities.

CONSULTATION.—In carrying out this section, DOT shall ensure that activities surrounding the development of curriculum and the provision of training are eligible to receive grant funds.

GRANT PROGRAM.—DOT shall establish a grant program to provide funds to industry stakeholders to help underwrite their assistance in the development of curriculum and training under this section.

This training program is funded to DOT, $3,000,000 in 2011 and 2012.

[Interesting additions. First of all, does this section use the 33 CFR 101 definitions for facility security officer? On-line training is mentioned. The program is funded. The IMO Model Course is not addressed. MARAD is still in charge. Training for port first responders is addressed. {The University of Findlay has been presenting this training in a DHS-certified format since 2007, all over the U. S.}The subchapter H updates are supposed to address training standards – there is no connection between this bill it its final form and the updates, which have been in the regulatory hopper for years.]

NMSAC – Section 315 refines the membership of NMSAC, ensuring that there is at least one member representing port authorities, facilities, terminals, vessels, maritime labor, academia, state and local government, and maritime industry. AMSC membership is also refined; members are to be composed of individuals who represent the interests of the port industry, terminal operators, port labor organizations, and other users of the port areas.

[Just my opinion but the purpose of the AMSC is the security port area as a whole, and the idea of choosing someone because of the interest that they represent is odd and possibly counterproductive. The phrase “the interests of” indicates to me the interests of that group to the exclusion of everyone else.]

More to come on this bill......

SAFEPort Reauthorization Act

Thanks to my friend and CBP veteran Laura Hains for the heads-up on this, from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, posted 07/27/10:


Senators co-authored the original legislation in 2005; gain endorsements from many key groups
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Susan Collins, R-Me., Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced a bipartisan bill Tuesday that would extend the groundbreaking port security programs now in place in the United States.

The measure, “The SAFE Port Reauthorization Act of 2010,” extends anti-terrorism protections designed to safeguard the nation’s critical shipping lanes and seaports from attack and sabotage. Senators Collins and Murray coauthored the original SAFE Port Act in 2005; it was enacted the following year.

“The scope of what we need to protect is broad,” said Senator Collins. “America has 361 seaports – each vital links in our nation’s transportation network. Our seaports move more than 95 percent of overseas trade. In 2009, U.S. ports logged 68,000 ports-of-call by foreign-flagged vessels, bringing 9.8 million shipping containers to our shores.

“Because seaports are flourishing, our harbors operate as vital centers of economic activity; they also represent vulnerable targets. An attack on one or more U.S. ports could cause great loss of life and large numbers of injuries; it could damage our energy supplies and infrastructure; it could cripple retailers and manufacturers dependent on incoming inventory; and it could hamper our ability to move and supply American military forces fighting against the forces of terrorism.”

Said Senator Murray: “As long as terrorists continue trying to harm our country, we can’t afford to let our guard down at our nation’s ports. We need to extend the SAFE Port Act to make sure our communities, families, and economy remain protected. This is especially important for my home state of Washington, where families and businesses depend on our ports remaining safe and open for business.”

Among other things, the bill would reauthorize the SAFE Port Act maritime cargo security programs that have proven to be successful. These include:

- The Automated Targeting System that identifies high-risk cargo;
- The Container Security Initiative that ensures high-risk cargo containers are inspected at ports overseas before they travel to the United States; and
- The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT, that provides incentives to importers to enhance the security of their cargo from point of origin to destination.

The bill would also strengthen the C-TPAT program by providing new benefits, including voluntary security training to industry participants and providing participants an information sharing mechanism on maritime and port security threats, and by authorizing Customs and Border Protection to conduct unannounced inspections to ensure that security practices are robust. The cooperation of private industry is vital to protecting supply chains, and C-TPAT is a necessary tool for securing their active cooperation in supply chain security efforts.

Further, the bill would extend the competitive, risk-based, port security grants that have provided $1.5 billion to improve the security of our ports. The authorization for the next five years at $400 million per year is a continued major commitment of resources, but it is fully proportional to what is at stake, and a priority that we cannot ignore.

In addition to continuing and strengthening critical programs, the bill also would expand the America’s Waterway Watch Program to promote voluntary reporting of suspected terrorist activity or suspicious behavior against a vessel, facility, port, or waterway.

The bill also protects citizens from frivolous lawsuits when they report, in good faith, suspicious behavior that may indicate terrorist activity against the United States, building on a 2007 homeland security law that encourages people to report suspicious transportation activity.

The legislation enhances research and development efforts to improve maritime cargo security with demonstration project to examine the use of composite materials in cargo containers to improve container integrity and to deploy next generation sensors.

Finally, the measure addresses the difficulties in administering the mandate of x-raying and scanning for radiation all cargo containers overseas that are destined for the United States by July 2012. That technology is not yet perfected. The bill would eliminate the deadline for x-raying 100 percent of containers if the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies the effectiveness of individual security measures of that layered security approach. This is a more reasonable method to secure our cargo until a new method of x-raying containers is proven effective.

Among the groups that have endorsed the legislation: American Association of Port Authorities; National Retail Federation; National Maritime Manufacturers Association; Association of Marina Industries; National Association of State Boating Law Administrators; National Boating Federation, and Boat Owners of the United States.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yesterday's NMSAC meeting

Due to the technical problems with the webcast of the NMSAC meeting, I was unable to hear a substantial proportion of the meeting. Topics of extreme interest to the port security stakeholder community were on the agenda. LCDR O'Brien was kind enough to send me a copy of her presentation including the Subchapter H update, but the presentation does not go into any detail. Screening and training standards will be addressed in the update, but again, technical difficulties with the broadcast prevented online listeners from hearing anything but silence during this part of the meeting, so any questions or comments from the physical participants were not able to be heard and may also be lost to the archive. I dropped off the webcast at 11:25AM in frustration.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mark your calendars, May 4-5, 2011

The U. S. Maritime Security Expo is back on the East Coast, on May 4 - 5, 2011, at the Baltimore Convention Center. The website is The conference agenda has not yet been posted.

Friday, July 9, 2010

DHS Small Vessel Security Update Bulletin

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a Small Vessel Security Update Bulletin. The link to the bulletin can be found at

Those are the facts. Below is my opinion of this document and the progress of this program:

This two-page document (for three years’ of work by the Coast Guard) essentially states that most of the progress on this program has been performed on the West Coast, and consists of liaison between citizens groups and AWW and testing of operational concepts and technology against the threat of the transportation of nuclear material by small vessels. The report also lists the December 2008 IMO non-mandatory guidelines document as if this was a product of the program.

Half of this 2-page document consists of an after-action report of AWW 2.0 support of the XXI Olympic Games.

AWW is a great program. We support it in our MARAD-approved Facility Security Officer courses, and we support it in our DHS-certified courses. But in many cases and venues we first have to acquaint the students with the basics of the program, the fact that it exists in the first place. After all this time, that’s all we have in the SVS toolkit?

The threat of small vessels is a major concern to persons throughout the U. S. MTS. These persons gathered in the national and regional SVS seminars. I don’t believe anyone at those seminars would have imagined that after all this time, we would still be at this stage of (lack of) progress.

The report states, “A roadmap for the entire effort is expected to be released in the near future.” As we’ve seen in MTSA II, and standardized training for MTSA screening, “near future” may mean we have to wait for more progress. I hope that events, also, are content to wait.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Notice of NMSAC meeting, July 20, 2010 0900

SUMMARY: The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) will meet in Washington, DC to discuss various issues relating to national maritime security. This meeting will be open to the public.

DATES: The Committee will meet on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. This meeting may close early if all business is finished. Written material and requests to make oral presentations should reach the Coast Guard on or before July 13, 2010. Requests to have a copy of your material distributed to each member of the committee should reach the Coast Guard on or before July13, 2010.

ADDRESSES: The Committee will meet at Coast Guard Headquarters, Room 4202, 2100 2nd Street, SW., Washington, DC 20593. Additionally, this meeting will be broadcast via a web enabled interactive online format. Send written material and requests to make oral presentations to Mr. Ryan Owens, Assistant Designated Federal Officer (ADFO) of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee, 2100 2nd Street SW., Stop 7581; Washington, DC
20593–7581. You may also e-mail material to This notice may be viewed in our online docket, USCG–2010–0586, at http://

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Ryan Owens, ADFO of NMSAC, telephone 202–372–1108 or

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App.(Pub. L. 92–463).

Agenda of Public Meeting
The agenda for the Public part of the May 4 Committee meeting is as follows:
(1) TWIC Update.
(2) Discussion on creation of a National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) Sub-Committee.
(3) DHS Global Supply Chain Security Strategy initiative.
(4) Maritime Transportation Security Act update.
(5) Update from CDC Strategy Working Group.
(6) Update on the Small VesselSecurity Strategy.

This meeting is open to the public for the morning session and will also be conducted via an online meeting format. Please note that the public portion of the meeting may close early if all business is finished. Seating is very limited, and members of the public will require additional screening and an escort while in Coast Guard Headquarters. Members of the public wishing to attend should register with Mr. Ryan Owens, ADFO of NMSAC, telephone 202–372–1108 or no later than July 13, 2010. Additionally, if you would like to participate in this meeting via the online Web format, please log onto
and follow the online instructions to register for this meeting. At the Chair’s discretion, members of the public may make oral presentations during the public portion of the meeting. If you would like to make an oral presentation at the public portion of the meeting, please notify the ADFO no later than Tuesday, July 13, 2010. Written material for distribution at a meeting should
reach the Coast Guard no later than Tuesday, July 13, 2010. If you would like a copy of your material distributed to each member of the committee inadvance of a meeting, please submit 25 copies to the ADFO no later than Tuesday, July 13, 2010.

Information on Services for Individuals With Disabilities
For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact the ADFO as soon as possible.
Dated: June 28, 2010.
K.C. Kiefer,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard Chief, Office of Port and Facility Activities, Designated Federal Official, NMSAC.
[FR Doc. 2010–16112 Filed 7–1–10; 8:45 am]