Maritime Transportation Security News and Views
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UPDATE: RSVP Link that works.



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The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) reconvened without a quorum on the morning of September 12th to hear about and discuss the two remaining agenda items, Using the Marine Highway for Hazardous Cargo and Port Security Grants. The Committee also heard a statement concerning CDC tracking and discussed its future meetings.The all-day session on September 11th had dealt with Cybersecurity, Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and Information Sharing, Requirements for foreign Detain On-Board seamen, US/Canadian Regulatory Harmonization, Integration of Facility Security Plans and Systems, and Radiation Portal Monitoring Replacement and Relocation. Problems with both internet and telephone audio feeds persisted, so the following is, at best, an approximation of the meeting.



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The September 2012 meeting of National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) was typical in that the original agenda was immediately altered as the order of topics changed and some switched meeting days. It was also distressingly atypical in that the audio for the audience attending by webcast and teleconference was among the worst in living memory. As a consequence, there are both major and minor gaps (not necessarily noted) in this report notwithstanding the length of the post. I have also occasionally placed comments out of chronological sequence in order to keep all the discussion of a particular topic in one place.



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UPDATE 9/4/12: The Conditions of Entry Notice has been published at 77 Federal Register pages 53901- 02 and is also available online. The Port Security Advisory has not yet been posted on Homeport.



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The official Federal Register Notice from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allowing the extended expiration date (EED) Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) has been published. Notes summarizing a special conference call during which TSA rolled out the EED TWIC policy are now available online. Some Congressmen have commented on the policy.



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On June 15th, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) TWIC website announced a forthcoming option for many holders of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to extend the expiration date of their TWICs pending implementation of the US Coast Guard’s long-awaited Final Rule on TWIC reader requirements. The website announcement includes links to an EED TWIC Overview and Frequently Asked Questions, a Policy Bulletin (which is also posted on the USCG National Maritime Center website), and an Exemption Notice scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on June 19th.



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The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) met on the morning of May 16th to conclude its May 2012 meeting. This session was devoted almost exclusively to Information Sharing, after first passing the Detain on Board Resolution held over from the previous session. Several key players in the DHS and USCG information sharing arenas were in attendance.



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The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) convened the open portion of its spring meeting at 1:00PM, May 15, 2012. Agenda topics for this afternoon session included: National Supply Chain Security; Transport Canada/USCG Regulatory Harmonization; Port Security Grants and TWIC Readers; and Vessel Detain on Board/Armed Guard Requirements.



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The May 1st issue of the Federal Register has scheduled a USCG Notice of the next meeting of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC). The meeting will be held May 15-16, 2012 at two locations in the Washington, DC area.



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Two recent developments affect everyone’s favorite (if only to hate) US maritime transportation security feature, the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Program. Of particular interest to those who will need to renew their TWICs later this year and beyond, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has selected



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The maritime industry’s implementation of TWIC readers will be a lot more complicated than simply hanging some machines at the entry points of vessels and facilities regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002. That’s one thing that’s very clear from the lengthy and sometimes murky Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Final Report on the TWIC Reader Pilot Program that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had run in response to section 104 of the SAFE Port Act of 2006. The Report was forwarded to Congress by the DHS Secretary on February 27th.



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Finally, here’s the post covering the third session of the January 2012 meeting of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC). Three topics–Underwater Terrorism Preparedness, the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Program, and the Global Supply Chain Security Initiative–were covered at this session, on the morning of January 19th.



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So far this year the US Coast Guard has issued two revised documents material to the struggle against maritime piracy. One is the latest version of the applicable Maritime Security Directive; the other provides updated information regarding the policies of various countries concerning self-defense weapons onboard merchant ships visiting their ports.



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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has, without fanfare, updated its website with the “Latest News” that the cost to get a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) will drop slightly, as of March 19, 2012. At that time, the price of TWIC will drop from $132.50 to $129.75.



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This post covers the second session of the January 2012 meeting of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (MMSAC). This session, on the afternoon of January 18th, had two topics: a discussion of the Certain Dangerous Cargo Security Initiative and an unscheduled agenda item on using Port Security Grant Program funds to help US vessel operators defray security upgrades for operations in high risk waters.



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The first morning session of the January meeting of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) opened with a lengthy Welcome/Farewell Address by NMSAC sponsor, short remarks by the Committee’s Executive Director, and what was labeled a discussion of requirements for vessel guards while in port. These were followed briefings/discussions of Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)/Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Harmonization, Maritime Domain Awareness and Information Sharing, the long-planned “MTSA II Regulations,” and harmonization of US and Canadian maritime transportation security regimes.



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A meeting of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) will be held in Arlington, VA, on January 18th and 19th, according to a US Coast Guard Notice published in the Federal Register on January 9th.



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UPDATE, 1/4/12: The Notice of Policy has been published at 77 Federal Register page 232 and is also available online.



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The USCG Coast Guard’s proposed rulemaking on revisions to Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Requirements for Mariners has cleared the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s) regulatory review process. The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) and should be published in the Federal Register shortly.



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On December 6th the UK Department for Transport (DfT) posted on its website two documents providing guidance for UK-flagged vessels on countering piracy and armed robbery against ships. They include guidance allowing the use of armed guards against Somali pirates, implementing a change in policy that was promised in October.



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Some 26,000 Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs) may be rejected by TWIC reader machines because of defective encoding. At some point recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) posted on the “Latest News” portion of its TWIC website that some previously issued TWICs had been improperly coded.



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If you weren’t able to comment before the September 30 deadline on the US Coast Guard’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) on implementing STCW Convention and Code amendments and changes to domestic merchant marine endorsements, you have a second chance. Ditto if you’d like to repeat or expand on comments you did make.



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Ten days after posting its initial version of the Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) registry on its website, as previously reported, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has issued a press release announcing the establishment of the publicly available registry. Establishment of the registry is an early step in implementing the CUI program. The CUI program matters to maritime transportation security, because it will ultimately impact on how Sensitive Security Information (SSI) is dealt with.



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On November 4th, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) posted a Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Registry on its website. The Registry is designed to list the categories of information that federal agencies are authorized to use to safeguard sensitive material that is not classified. It matters for maritime transportation security because of its potential impact on Sensitive Security Information (SSI).



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On October 14, 2012 the USCG posted Port Security Advisory (PSA) 4-11 to its Homeport website. In essence, the Advisory removes conditions of entry previously imposed on vessels arriving from the Republic of Congo. “The Coast Guard has determined that the Republic of Congo is now maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures in their ports.”



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The Coast Guard has drafted a regulatory proposal revising Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) requirements for mariners. It’s most likely designed to implement section 809 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, but details are sparse at this point.



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Proposed US Coast Guard regulations to implement the STCW Convention will, if adopted, have both direct and indirect impacts on maritime transportation security programs. That said, implementation of the maritime-security-specific STCW amendments adopted in Manila in 2010 is the 17th



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The US Coast Guard held the second of two Listening Sessions in Houston, TX on August 18th, to discuss the development of a CDC Maritime Security National Strategy. Fortunately for those of us not in the Houston area, the session was webcast.



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When I wrote about the announcement of stakeholder meetings on the Coast Guard’s working draft of the Certain Dangerous Cargos (CDC) Security National Strategy (for the maritime transportation system), I seconded the notion that the USCG should webcast the sessions.



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The US Coast has just issued MTSA Policy Advisory Council Decision 02-11 (PAC 02-11), “Waiving Facilities that Transfer Certain Low Risk Commodities.” Owners/operators of MTSA-regulated facilities that transfer or store bulk commodities that are listed in the Decision as being low risk can, as long as they meet certain other conditions, apply to have the maritime security regulations in 33 CFR Part 105 waived as to their facilities.



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