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August 16, 2002

INS cracks down on foreign mariners

Law firm Holland & Knight has surveyed readers of its ever-useful email newsletter on how the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has been processing non-U.S. mariners arriving in the United States following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Holland & Knight's Dennis Bryant says the survey has brought to light changes that the INS has implemented without formal notice. It now appears that the INS is increasingly issuing "detain on board" orders relating to foreign mariners and requiring ship owners and operators to hire commercial guard service to prevent crew members from going ashore.

The extent of this new development seems to be growing, but is currently unclear. Holland & Knight is asking readers of its newsletter to report their experience with this new requirement. Ship owners, operators, agents, and the affected crews can only prepare for the situation if they know what to expect.

INS treatment of seafarers is one of the important topics on the agenda at Marine Log's upcoming conference, Maritime Legislation, Regulation & Policy, Washington, D.C., September 17 & 18, 2002.

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