The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) has mandated that the US Coast Guard evaluate the effectiveness of anti-terrorism measures in foreign ports and provides for the imposition of conditions of entry on vessels arriving to the United States from countries that do not maintain effective anti-terrorism measures.
The Coast Guard has determined that ports in the following countries are not maintaining effective antiterrorism measures:
- Cote d’ Ivoire
- Equatorial Guinea
- The Gambia
- Sao Tome and Principe
Actions required by vessels visiting countries affected:
All vessels arriving to the United States that visited the countries listed by USCG, during their last five port calls, must take the following actions:
- Implement measures per the ship’s security plan equivalent to Security Level 2;
- Ensure that each access point to the ship is guarded and that the guards have total visibility of the exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel. Guards may be:
- provided by the ship’s crew, however, additional crewmembers should be placed on the ship if necessary to ensure that limits on maximum hours of work are not exceeded and/or minimum hours of rest are met, or
- provided by outside security forces approved by the ship’s master and Company Security Officer.
- Attempt to execute a Declaration of Security;
- Log all security actions in the ship’s security records; and
- Report actions taken to the cognizant U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port prior to arrival in the U.S.
Vessels that visited the countries listed above (with exceptions noted) on or after the effective date, during their last five port calls will be boarded or examined by the Coast Guard to ensure the vessel took the required actions. Failure to properly implement the actions may result in delay or denial of entry into the United States.
Detailed information may be found by reading the full PSA: