Coast Guard and Customs Joint Targeting Center Commissioning on Friday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection will officially commission a joint targeting center for inbound commercial vessel and air traffic Friday at 10 a.m.

The Joint Maritime Advance Scheduling and Targeting Team is a local and nationally unique initiative to increase maritime safety and security in Northeast Florida ports. The program calls for increased coordination between CBP and the Coast Guard by establishing protocols to jointly screen inbound vessels more than 300-gross tons and air traffic arriving in the Northeast and Central Florida.

JMASTT leverages each agency’s expertise by fully integrating Coast Guard vessel screening processes with CBP vessel and air vetting practices of crew, cargo and passengers. Subject vessels are targeted for appropriate inspections and control measures are instituted based on screening results.

Previously, the system of controlling vessel arrivals into the Port of Jacksonville was passive and vessels assumed permission to enter port unless specifically denied access by the Coast Guard or CBP. JMASTT incorporates a process for issuing vessel control numbers in the ports of Jacksonville, Fernandina, Fla., and Port Canaveral, Fla., to indicate concurrent CBP and Coast Guard approval for vessel arrivals or departures. JMASTT has effectively partnered with marine pilots in Fernandina, Jacksonville and Port Canaveral to provide an additional layer of protection against vessels entering port without a JMASTT issued control number.

JMASTT is a prototype initiative within the Department of Homeland Security that will eventually be incorporated at other ports nationwide. Director Richard Quinn, CBP area port director and Capt. Paul Thomas, Coast Guard captain of the port, will be on hand to provide a tour of the new facility.

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