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Maritime Security Training Requirements

Posted on Thu, Mar 07, 2013

Vulnerability assessments may reveal that certain waterfront facilities are considered “high-risk” to security breaches and associated threats. The main goal of security assessments is to identify and limit security risks to your facility, equipment, and personnel. Being able to identify and quantify risks at waterfront facilities allows companies to establish policies and procedures that can minimize the risk and consequences of security threats, and provide increased safety.

Marine Transportation Security Act  (MTSA) requires “any structure or facility of any kind located in, on, under, or adjacent to any waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to conduct a vulnerability assessment and prepare and submit a security plan to the Secretary of Homeland Security based on the assessment.” This law is the U.S. equivalent of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), and was fully implemented on July 1, 2004. Security plans may include, but are not limited to:

  • Passenger, vehicle, and baggage screening procedures
  • Security patrols
  • Establishing restricted areas
  • Personnel identification procedures
  • Access control measures
  • Installation of surveillance equipment.

A facility that is deemed high risk must assign a Facility Security Officer (FSO) and conduct appropriate training. According to CFR 33 part 105, Maritime Security for Facilities, companies with multiple portside locations can assign a single employee as the FSO for all sites, as long as those facilities are in the same Captain Of The Port (COTP) zone and are within 50 miles of each other. The FSO may also perform other duties within the company, but they must be able to perform the duties and responsibilities required of the FSO.

A security plan is required to describe the training, drills, and security actions of persons at the waterfront facility. These actions should deter, to the maximum extent practicable, a transportation security incident, or a substantial security threat. As per §105.210, facility personnel with security duties should be trained in the following:

  • Knowledge of current security threats and patterns
  • Recognition and detection of dangerous substances and devices
  • Recognition of characteristics and behavioral patterns of persons who are likely to threaten security
  • Techniques used to circumvent security measures
  • Crowd management and control techniques
  • Security related communications
  • Knowledge of emergency procedures and contingency plans
  • Operation of security equipment and systems
  • Testing, calibration, and maintenance of security equipment and systems
  • Inspection, control, and monitoring techniques
  • Relevant provisions of the Facility Security Plan (FSP)
  • Methods of physical screening of persons, personal effects, baggage, cargo, and vessel stores
  • The meaning and the consequential requirements of the different Maritime Security (MARSEC) Levels
  • Familiar with all relevant aspects of the TWIC program and how to carry them out

All other facility personnel, including contractors, whether part-time, full-time, temporary, or permanent, must have knowledge of, through training or equivalent job experience, in the following, as appropriate:

  • Relevant provisions of the Facility Security Plan (FSP)
  • The meaning and the consequential requirements of the different MARSEC Levels as they apply to them, including emergency procedures and contingency plans
  • Recognition and detection of dangerous substances and devices
  • Recognition of characteristics and behavioral patterns of persons who are likely to threaten security
  • Techniques used to circumvent security measures
  • Familiar with all relevant aspects of the TWIC program and how to carry them out.

The MTSA requires that facilities with a higher risk of involvement in a transportation security incident perform certain tasks in order to continue operating in the United States. Facilities must be able to present a Facility Security Assessment (FSA) Report and Facility Vulnerability and Security Measures Summary (Form CG-6025).  If these items are not included in the Facility Security plan, Coast Guard Inspectors will not approve the plan.

For an understanding of the necessary elements in creating an effective fire pre plan, download our Fire Pre Planning Guide.

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Tags: Dock Operations, MTSA, Training and Exercises, Security plans