33 CFR 105 requires the Owner/Operator (read as ‘FSO,’ that’s YOU!), to conduct an Audit annually.  This is the FSO’s opportunity to show the Auditor, your ‘critical best friend,’ how well you know your duties and are doing your job; nearly instantaneous feedback on how you’re doing as an FSO, now that’s job satisfaction!  (Assuming you know the regulations and what the facility’s FSP says; and are routinely conducting drills and applying best practices and lessons learned.)

If the Owner/Operator/FSO are not gaining security perspective and insights from your Auditor every year, it’s time to bring on the regulatory and practical experience that comes with each Seebald Associate; we pride ourselves in being your expert ‘critical best friend.’

Have you and your alternates attended a certified FSO Course or FSO Refresher Course?  The FSO Course is recommended every 5 years, the FSO Refresher Course every 2-3 years.  See Seebald.com for a location and date that works for you; or give Ed a call and arrange a private course tailored for you, your facility and personnel.

As the Owner/Operator’s representative, the FSO must sort through the regulations and know the applicable parts that govern their facility.

TWIC - do you know if and how the upcoming TWIC Reader requirement applies to your facility?

Seafarer Access - as FSO, do you know if the Owner/Operator must facilitate Merchant Mariner access, and if so, when and how?

Does the Owner/Operator have responsibilities when a vessel calls on the facility with an elevated security (ISPS or MARSEC) level?  What are the requirements associated with Declarations of Security?

It’s all in the regulations, supplementary guidance and advice documents.  Need a Certified FSO Course or FSO Refresher?  See Seebald.com for a location and date that works for you; or give Ed a call and arrange a private course tailored for you, your facility and personnel.

The Owner/Operator is referred to 31 times in 33 CFR 101; 106 times in 33 CFR 105; and 36 times in NVIC 03-03 (and we haven’t even mentioned the SAFE Port Act!)  As the facility’s security point-person, the FSO should equate the regulatory requirements as their to-do list and responsibility to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and agency policies.

33 CFR 101 explains notification requirements to NRC and the local COTP; to include changes in MARSEC level, suspicious activity, breaches of security, and TSIs.  It details how the facility’s security organization must interact with government authorities in the performance of their duties.

33 CFR 105 requires the Owner/Operator to effectively establish the physical boundaries of the MTSA regulated area(s).  There are also provisions for equivalency, waivers, and alternate security plans.  As well as requirements for maintaining documents, to include those associated with explosive detection dog teams.

Is the FSO off the hook?  After all, the regulations and guidance requires the Owner and/or Operator of a facility to act.  However -

The FSO is the Owner/Operator’s official representative for security matters at the facility; how the FSO does their job is paramount to fulfilling the regulatory requirements and the Owner/Operator’s ‘promise to the people of the United States’ as contained in the FSP.

This month we’ll explore how the Owner/Operator (in reality, the FSO) brings MTSA to life on your facility.  The FSO is on the hook!

MISLE is only available to authorized Coast Guard personnel via the Coast Guard intranet.  However, the Coast Guard provides extracted information from MISLE to federal and state agencies to meet their mission requirements and some information on vessels, facilities, and organizations is provided to the

public.  The public may access portions of the data contained on the MISLE system through the Port State Information eXchange (PSIX).  The information found in PSIX represents a weekly snapshot of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) data on U.S. flag vessels, foreign vessels operating in U.S. waters, and Coast Guard contacts with those vessels. Information on unclosed cases, investigations, or cases pending further action is considered privileged information and is precluded from the PSIX system.

What about access to your facility’s MISLE information?  It looks like there’s no elegant answer to that question other than requesting the information from your Coast Guard Inspector.  Most facility operators are unaware of what specific information their Coast Guard Inspector can access about their facility.  You can formally ask for a copy of your MISLE history via a Freedom of Information Act request.  The easier way, though, is to cultivate a trusting relationship with your Inspector and demonstrate your need-to-know the information.  Remember, it’s considered Sensitive Security Information, and subject to the protections in 49 CFR 1520.