Coast Guard warns about stricter notice-of-arrival enforcement

Coast Guard warns about stricter notice-of-arrival enforcement

WASHINGTON - With enforcement of port and vessel security plans on July 1, the U.S. Coast Guard will begin tighter enforcement of its 96-hour Notice of Arrival rule, the agency announced.

Vessels that fail to provide complete and accurate notification may be denied entry by the captain-of-the-port, and face $32,500 in fines.

The Coast Guard recently issued an internal field directive to port captains about enforcement. The 96-hour notice became part of Coast Guard regulations shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Vessel operators previously transmitted notices 24 hours in advance.

Some ship captains who had not observed proper protocol, or provided incomplete information, have been allowed to enter ports.

Complete notice-of-arrival includes ship and voyage information, cargo, passenger and crew manifests. Beginning July 1, ships also must transmit International Ship Security Certificate under the International Ship and Port Security Code.

A spokesman said the Coast Guard is busy trying to get as many ships and port facilities compliant with ISPS, and its U.S. version, the Maritime Transportation Security Act, by July 1.

As of Friday, the agency had approved 82 percent of port-security plans. About 50 terminals or other shoreside facilities will not be in compliance on July 1, and the Coast Guard will deal with them on a case-by-case basis.

For security reasons, the Coast Guard will not release a list of the noncompliant facilities.