The US Coast Guard (USCG) is amending its regulations on cruise ship terminal security by simplifying and removing outdated regulations located in 33 CFR parts 120 and 128.
These parts prescribe requirements for passenger vessels and passenger terminals to develop and implement vessel security plans and terminal security plans. However, the enactment of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) largely superseded these requirements with those in 33 CFR Subchapter H, parts 104 and 105.
As a result, parts 120 and 128 are now only used for the terminal security plan implementation requirements.
The final rule will improve regulatory clarity and efficiency by replacing the terminal screening procedures from parts 120 and 128 with updated procedures laid out in the current MTSA regulations located in Subchapter H, the USCG said.
The primary purpose of these changes is to provide more efficient and clear requirements for the screening of all baggage, personal items, and persons—including passengers, crew, and visitors—intending to board a cruise ship, and enhance the security of cruise ship terminals, while minimising disruption to business operations.
It will also both clarify and simplify requirements to ensure all facilities maintain screening measures that meet a minimum standard. For example, while the terminal security plan requirements in part 128 merely required that owners or operators of a terminal facility “provide adequate security training to employees of the terminal,” the new regulations both incorporate the existing MTSA training requirements located in section 105.210, as well as list several terminal-specific items that clarify what knowledge base is needed to adequately ensure security.
Therefore, the final rule will establish clear, simplified, enforceable standards, consolidate the terminal security regulations in the US Code of Federal Regulations, and ensure a consistent, minimum layer of security at cruise ship terminals throughout the US with a minimal impact to business operations, the USCG said.
It is estimated that this rule will affect 137 MTSA-regulated facilities, 131 cruise ships, and 23 cruise lines. This will only come with a one-off administrative cost for the development of a terminal screening programme and for updating the FSP for the prohibited items list. The cost for these updates is estimated to be about $158,660.