Hearing on implementation of Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)

The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on Implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA). The Subcommittee also received testimony on the Port Security Improvements Act of 2003 (H.R. 2193) and the United States Seaport Multiyear Security Enhancement Act (H.R. 3712).

Representative Doug Ose (R-CA) testified with regard to H.R. 2193, which he sponsored. This bill, if enacted, would, among other things, allocate some funds for port security enhancements from a portion of the customs duties collected. Noel G. Cunningham, speaking on behalf of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), testified in support of increased funding for port security grants, the transportation workers identification credential (TWIC) program, Operation Safe Commerce, and security training. Michael Mitre, Director of Port Security, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), testified about perceived gaps in maritime security, as exemplified by the recent explosion at the Port of Los Angeles involving a container being processed for export.

The formal testimony of Rear Admiral Larry Hereth, USCG, regarding maritime security has been posted on the Internet. Admiral Hereth stated at the congressional hearing that over 99% of the 9,200 vessels and 3,200 port facilities administered under the agency’s maritime security regulations have submitted security plans to the Coast Guard. Over 90% of the plans have been approved to date and the remainder should be complete by July 1, when the requirements come into effect. In addition, maritime security plans have been reviewed and approved for all 43 areas, which are coterminous with the USCG Captain of the Port (COTP) zones.

Source: Holland & Knight LLP, WashingtonDC

Contact:  Dragos Rauta