Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Review of 4 May meeting


I apologize for the long delay between posts. We've been fairly quiet since our last meeting.

Our May 4 meeting was held here in Washington DC. We had a public meeting in the morning and in the afternoon, we closed the meeting to the public in order to facilitate a classified briefing on the Maritime Security Risk Analysis Model (MSRAM) and a general maritime threat briefing from the Coast Guard's Intelligence Coordination Center.

During the public meeting, we discussed a few items, including the NPRM to revise the eNOA/D rules. NMSAC expressed the need for the data collected through the eNOA/D process align with the CBP data collection requirements to minimize duplication.

The biggest part of the meeting was taken up with a follow on discussion from our last meeting in September concerning the issue of seafarer access to shore leave. The Continued concern of the committee is that they do not agree with the Coast Guard's legal position that the Coast Guard does not have the authority to force facilities to allow seafarers access to their facilities for the purposes of going on shore leave. Ms. Kathy Sinniger explained that the CG determined under the tight time frame of releasing the MTSA regulations, that forcing a facility to allow access to a seafarers came dangerously close to a "taking" of private property which, under legal precedent,would open the government up for just compensation to the facility. However, due to theTWIC regulations, and a stronger understanding of the impact of the MTSA regulations and the IMO resolutions regarding seafarer access, the Coast Guard legal folks are taking a look at the specifics to see if, in fact, this is a takings situation.

The Committee also issued the following resolution:

The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC),

Having received, a Task Statement from the United States Coast Guard in June, 2008, requesting NMSAC to examine and quantify the problem of seafarers’ access to shore leave and to provide comments by September 18, 2008,

Convened a Seafarers’ Access working group consisting of representatives that consisted of representatives from Seafarer’s Unions, Seafarer’s Welfare Organizations, Facility owner/operators, Facility Security Officers, and Shipowners Associations,
Having met on September 18, 2008 to discuss, among other items, the findings of the working group,

Recognizing that, several international instruments, listed in the working group’s report, affirm seafarers’ rights to shore leave, visitors, and representatives of seafarers' welfare and labour organizations,

Noting that, seafarers work and live on ships involved in domestic and international trade and that access to shore facilities and shore leave are vital elements of seafarers' general well-being and, therefore, to the realization of safer seas and cleaner oceans and the free flow of commerce,

Considering that, due to the global nature of the shipping industry, seafarers need special protection, and security needs must be balanced with the rights of seafarers, and

Noting that, the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), requires that port facility plans address procedures for:
“facilitating shore leave for ship's personnel or personnel changes, as well as access of visitors to the ship including representatives of seafarers' welfare and labour organizations.”

Resolves that, the Coast Guard,
  1. enforce the obligation of port facilities under the ISPS Code, the Maritime Transportation Security Act, and the relevant provisions of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations regarding seafarers’ access to shore leave, and access for visitors, representatives of seafarers welfare and labor organization;
  2. require each port facility to facilitate access for seafarers by requiring that every port facility security plan facilitate shore leave, crew changes, and access for visitors, in accordance with the ISPS Code and international instruments. Any costs for facilitating such access is a matter for the port facility; and,
  3. convene a high-level group consisting of representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Seafarer’s Unions, Seafarer’s Welfare Organizations, Facility owner/operators, Facility Security Officers, and Ship-owners Associations to address all related seafarer access issues.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Updated Maritime Security Directive

The Coast Guard released a new Maritime Security Directive on Monday in response to the rise in piracy in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa and in light of recent pirate attacks on U.S. flagged vessels.

Maritime Security Directive 104-6 (rev. 2) issued by the Coast Guard under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2004 provides the maritime industry with specific, risk-based measures to take to deter, detect or disrupt piracy.

If you have a chance, please check it out.

Also, You can read Rear Admiral Brian Salerno's recent testimony on Coast Guard anti-piracy efforts here (link to pdf).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Reporting H1N1 Cases

Due to alot of questions I've been fielding from the industry concerning the reporting requirements of vessels calling on US ports, I've put together some guidance:

Vessels, in accordance with 42 CFR 71.21 and 71.35, are required to comply with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reporting requirements. Vessel owners/ operators/ and agents can VOLUNTARILY supply this information (via eNOA/D or other means) to the Coast Guard if they choose, but this does not relieve them of their reporting requirement to CDC.

According to 33 CFR 160.215, vessels are required to notify the Coast Guard of an illness if it affects the safety or safe navigation of the vessel; as this would constitute a hazardous condition requiring immediate reporting. However, the hazardous condition is dependant on the safe operation of the vessel and the impact on the port (an example could be where half the crew was unable to conduct vessel work because they were too ill to stand their watches). Absent further guidance from CDC, a crew member suspected ofhaving H1N1 does not automatically make it a hazardous condition.

So, hopefully this clears up some of the confusion...hopefully

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

H1N1 Influenza

Unless your living under a rock, you're probably aware of the H1N1 Influenza virus (formerly called Swine Flu) that has been popping up around the US. While not a direct Maritime Security issue, we've been doing quite a bit of outreach here at the Coast Guard to inform and prepare the Maritime Industry. Here are some of the activities we've been up to:
  • We've been very involved with the the Area Maritime Security Committees in helping them develop Pandemic Flu plans for the past year. While there have been various levels of success, the fact that the discussion has been ongoing well before this incident is a strong indicator that 'Semper Paratus' isn't just a catch phrase
  • The CG has been working with DHS, CDC, and HHS since February to discuss aspects of the October 2005 DHS-HHS MOU and associated issues toward their further refinement and implementation.
  • Recently, we've been pushing out specific H1N1 information out to our partners through the National Industry Security Partners (NISP) Collaberation Community in Homeport and have updated the public side of Homeport to provide useful information and links on what's going on with this highly dynamic situation.

The bottom line is that we've been making every effort to get everyone informed and prepped. Feel free to head over to Homeport and see what's there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Next NMSAC Meeting 4 May 2009

Our next public meeting will be May 4th at USCG Headquarters. We will have a public portion, from 9-12, and portion closed to the public in the afternoon. The purpose of the second half of the meeting is to discuss national security matters.

Because these matters are of a sensitive and lassified nature, it has been determined that this portion of the committee meeting will be closed to the public pursuant to subsection (c)(1)of section 552b of Title 5 U.S.C.

You can see the official Federal Register notice here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It's certainly not a new problem for those of us who've worked in the industry, but it has been getting alot of attention as of late. NMSAC has not been tasked to discuss or provide guidance on the piracy issues, and quite frankly, it's not a domestic security issue. But for those of you who are interested, a reall great place to start is The International Maritme Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre.

Also of note, today the Department of State, on their DIPNOTE blog, opened up a discussion on piracy, you can check it out here.

And last, but certainly not least, I'd be remiss if I didn't point you to ADM Allen's blog, iCommandant to get the Coast Guard Leadership point of view.

So, what are your thoughts on dealing with the Piracy issue?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

TWIC Reader Requirement ANPRM

Today an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that discusses the Coast Guard's preliminary proposals on potential requirements for owners and operators of certain vessels and facilities regulated by the Coast Guard to use electronic readers designed to work with Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards as an access control measure will be available for public inspection at the Federal Register website,

The ANPRM will publish tomorrow, 27 March 2009. The advance notice is a step toward full implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 transportation security card requirement as well as requirements of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 for regulations on electronic readers designed for use with TWICs. The Coast Guard intends to hold one public meeting in the Washington, D.C. region during the ANPRM comment period and the date and details will bepublished in the Federal Register as soon as they are confirmed (we'll post them on this blog, too).

The Coast Guard encourages the public to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials to the docket at, docket number: USCG-2007-28915. All comments received will be posted without change. Please do not provide comments on the ANPRM on this blog.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

NMSAC Web 2.0 presence mentioned

Thanks to our friend, Mr. Dennis Bryant, who posted a blurb on his new blog about the NMSAC presence on Facebook, LinkedIn as well as this blog.

For those of you who used to get his daily emails from Knight and Holland (which he stopped doing just recently), he's now putting out the same info on his blog. Check him out.

Next NMSAC meeting has been postponed

As a result of some scheduling conflicts, we will be postponing the March 16 NMSAC meeting until a later date (probably some time in April).

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Commandant will now take your questions...

From iCommandant, ADM Allen is looking for questions from the industry about Coast Guard-wide issues. Just post a comment to his blog.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Next Public Meeting March 16

The next public meeting for NMSAC has been set for March 16 at 11:00 am (Eastern)

In our next meeting, we'll be discussing the following:

(1) Update on Transportation Workers Identification Credential
(2) Update on Seafarers’ Access to Shore leave
(3) Discussion of USCG 5 year review of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code.
(4) Briefing and discussion on the Maritime Security Risk Analysis Model (MSRAM)
(5) Discussion of Tiering Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) regulated facilities

This meeting is open to the public and will be conducted via an online meeting format. If you would like to participate in this meeting, please log onto and follow the online instructions to register for this meeting.

If you would like to make an oral presentation at a meeting, please notify me ( no later than Monday, March 9. Written material for distribution at a meeting should reach the Coast Guard no later than Monday, March 9.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Secretary Chertoff Appoints New Members

On Dec. 31st, Secretary Chertoff re-appointed 3 current members and 4 new members to the Committee:

Ms. Lisa Himber-Ms. Himber is the Vice President of the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay. Ms. Himber is charged with effecting policy associated with the achievement of the organization's mission to promote commerce on the Delaware River and Bay. Accordingly, she is directly responsible for the successful identification, implementation, and management of such Maritime Exchange programs as: the port-wide computer and information network; membership recruitment and retention efforts; workshops and seminars; government affairs and public policy; communications and public relations; and organizational administrative policies and procedures. Ms. Himber has been employed with maritime and transportation trade associations for 15 years. Ms. Himber is the current Co-Chair of NMSAC and is the Chair of he committee’s TWIC working Group.

Mr. Bill Eglinton- Mr. Eglinton is the Director of Training, Seafarers International Union (SIU) ofNorth America, AFL CIO. As Director of Training at the Paul Hall Maritime Center, Piney Point, Maryland, Mr. Eglinton is the administrator for all the vocational and academic programs provided by the facility. The SIU represents United States merchant mariners sailing aboard U.S. flag vessels in the deep sea, Great Lakes and inland trades. Mr. Eglinton previously served as chairman of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC). Since 1992, he has been an active meeting participate of the International Maritime Organization.

Mr. Gary Brown- Mr. Brown is a retired Marine Corps Brigadier General with 30 years of service. He has security program management experience with Lockheed Martin’s Technology Services Group; L-3 Communications Security Division; University of South Florida Center for Ocean Technology; and SRI International Marine Technology Program. He is currently the Director of National Center for Maritime and Port Security.

Mr. Lawrence S. Ferreira- Mr. Ferreira is the Director of Security for the Woods hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority. He is responsible for year round terminal and vessel security of a fleet of vehicle and passenger ferries that average 2.6 million passengers and 600,000 cars and trucks per year. He is active in the Southeastern New England Area Maritime Security Committee and the Cape Cod and Islands Port Security Forum.

Ms. Bethann Rooney- Ms. Rooney has 17 years of management experience in the maritime industry including nearly six years focused exclusively on port security. She has been a spokesperson on numerous occasions testifying before Congress on port security related legislation and regulations. She is the current Chair of the New York / New Jersey Area Maritime Security Committee and is currently a member on the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC). She is also a past member of the Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (NAVSAC).

Mr. Stuart Theis- Mr. Theis is the Executive Director of the United States Great Lakes Shipping Association. He has over 30 years experience in Great Lakes Shipping including serving as the President of Oglebay Norton Marine Services as well as Corporate Vice President of M.A. Hanna Company’s Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway and Ocean Marine operations.

Mr. Earl R Agron- Mr. Agron offers a combination of executive and operational industry expertise in both the domestic and international maritime security arena. In his current position, he is responsible for vessel security for American President Lines (APL), a key U.S. Flag vessel operator, operating approximately 100 vessels and managing a fleet of 400,000 containers, with services to 25,000 locations in 140 countries. He is a current member of the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC).