Seafarer’s Access is in the news once again and it is time to prepare. The Coast Guard’s Office of Port and Facility Compliance recently published a Marine Safety Information Bulletin on this topic, reminding facility operators of the requirements, including key dates.
In plain language, the purpose of the Seafarer’s Access Final Rule is to ensure that waterfront facilities have a way to accommodate mariners who wish to transit through a Maritime Transportation Security Act regulated facility in order to go into town, or to return to or join the ship. The regulation also applies to pilots, and to members of Seafarer welfare organizations, like Seaman’s Church Institute.
Most of us who work with mariners can appreciate the need to treat our seafarers with dignity, and to find ways to improve the quality of their lives without compromising security.
The next milestone in the Seafarer’s Access program is February 3, 2020. By that date, facility operators must have a system for accommodating Seafarer Access documented in their Facility Security Plans. This will require an amendment to your Facility Security Plan. Given that the Coast Guard requires facility operators to submit amendments 60 days in advance, you should be working on those procedures now.
Not sure of what, exactly, is required or how to get it to the Coast Guard for approval? Not to worry, Seebald & Associates are here to help. We have been incorporating Seafarer Access procedures in our audits, and submitting the necessary amendments to the Coast Guard for approval, since the Final Rule was published. We are also incorporating Seafarer Access into Facility Security Assessments and Facility Security Plans.
We are glad to review your plan and develop an amendment that will meet Coast Guard regulations and align with your business operations. With Seebald & Associates, you have access to experts on Seafarer’s Access – and to the finest maritime security risk experts available anywhere.