Notice of proposed rulemaking by U.S. Coast Guard focuses on seafarers’ access to maritime facilities

Coast Guard Headquarters News
WASHINGTON — The Federal Register Monday published a notice of proposed rulemaking by the U.S. Coast Guard to implement section 811 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-281).

This proposed rule would provide clear regulatory requirements for each facility owner or operator to provide seafarers associated with a vessel moored at the facility, and other individuals, access between the vessel and facility gate without unreasonable delay, and at no cost to the seafarer or other individual.

Generally, transiting through a facility is the only way that a seafarer or other individual can egress to shore beyond the facility to access basic shoreside businesses and services, and meet with family members and other personnel who do not hold a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).

Also, this proposed rule would provide facility owners and operators flexibility to implement a system to provide seafarers’ access that is tailored to each facility. Facility owners and operators also would be required to amend and document their access procedures in their Coast Guard-approved facility security plans within one year of the publication of the final rule.

In particular, the Coast Guard seeks comment on:

  • Whether one year is an appropriate timeframe to implement the system.
  • Whether this proposal provides an appropriately-inclusive list of individuals who should be allowed access to a vessel.
  • Whether the approach provides the necessary flexibility for a diverse regulated population to ensure that timely access is reasonable in each case.
  • Whether the proposal provides an appropriately-inclusive list of methods for providing seafarers’ access.
  • The Coast Guard’s estimated non-compliance rate of MTSA-regulated facilities with respect to providing seafarers’ access.
  • Whether the cost estimates for Facility Security Plan amendments and changes to facility operations to implement the proposed rule’s provisions.
  • Other regulatory alternatives to this proposed rule.

You can read the NPRM at this link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-29/pdf/2014-30013.pdf.

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One Comment

  1. James McGee says:

    This is a positive step forward for Mariners. Mariners must have access to/from their vessels and the outside world. A mariner should have the right to have visitors such as family and freinds board their vessel as long as those visitors appear on the access list and have identification.