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Security Levels

United States Coast Guard EmblemMaritime Transportation Security Act

The goal of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) is to prevent a Maritime Transportation Security Incident - defined as any incident that results in:

Mississippi River

MTSA is a significant piece of legislation that reinforces the national and global importance of security for the marine transportation system, and provides a crucial framework for ensuring the safety of maritime commerce and our domestic ports. MTSA's key requirement is to prevent a maritime transportation security incident (TSI) - defined as any incident that results in a significant loss of life, environmental damage, transportation system disruption, or economic disruptions to a particular area.

Within the maritime venue, preventing TSI's has been a core mission of the Coast Guard since its beginning - the MTSA focused the requirements to be security specific and gave us even broader authorities requiring the Coast Guard to implement it. Implementing the MTSA and the complimenting International security requirements will fundamentally change the security culture of the entire global maritime community and our own ports and waterways.

The majority of MTSA implementing responsibilities lie with the Coast Guard:

MTSA calls for a series of plans at the National, Port, and individual vessel/facility level - this "family of plans" concept worked well for oil spill response and was used to increase MTSA awareness throughout the maritime community to coordinate information and to deal with potential threats. Vessels and facilities that load/carry certain dangerous cargos (flammable, potentially explosive, caustic, or environmentally hazardous) must have individual security plans that address fundamental security measures such as access controls, communications, restricted areas, cargo-handling and monitoring, training, and incident reporting. The "port plan" called the Area Maritime Security Plan covers facilities and waterway venues such as parks or public piers that are not required to have individual security plans. The AMS plan is developed and implemented by an Area Maritime Security Committee with representatives from Federal, State, and Local governments as well as industry and the public sector. These committees and the AMS Plans are the backbone of communicating and coordinating surveillance and prepatory measures as threats to our maritime infrastructure warrant.

MTSA information contained herein may be found on The United States Coast Guard Homeport Web Site.

Last Modified 9/19/2013