Smooth transition to ISPS for Crowley
Crowley Liner Services reported today that one week after the implementation of new security measures at ports across the U.S., company vessels and customers' cargoes are continuing to move with no unexpected delays and in conformance with all new security standards.
"Crowley worked diligently to meet new Coast Guard standards and implement additional security plan measures at operating facilities and aboard its vessels prior to the July 1 deadline," said Ed Alford, Director of Security, Crowley Maritime Corporation. "That preparation and submission of comprehensive security plans in advance has helped us maintain our service integrity and protect the interests of our customers."
The Marine Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) are intended to hardenports' physical infrastructure, verify the security of individual vessels before they approach a port, and better restrict access to the port area.
USCG inspections at several of Crowley's terminals validated the efforts as the company was found to be in compliance with submitted facility security plans and received full operating approval under MTSA regulations for ISPS certification.
Those few facilities awaiting assignment of USCG audit representatives are operating under an approved Letter of Authorization until the USCG conducts full MTSA on-site audits.
To date, the majority of Crowley's vessels have been boarded for USCG inspection and verification of their International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) under the ISPS code.
All cargo has been allowed to enter the U.S. and cleared for normal transfer with minimal delay. Crowley vessels incorporate fixed voyage schedules from countries and ports that are also in compliance with the ISPS code.
"These new US Coast Guard and ISPS regulations required Crowley to formalize and accentuate what we were already doing," said Alford. "We didn't start from scratch, we already had extensive facility and vessel security measures in place. In preparation for the new rules, we increased physical and procedural requirements and provided regulatory security training to each company and private security officer, facility employees, vessel personnel and contractors at all locations."
Through the company's personnel in the Caribbean and Central America, they were able to provide security regulations training and assist in the internal certification process and continuing security awareness of port facilities in those countries that have limited resources to meet international certification standards.
Crowley has been notified that the ports of all service area countries, with the exception of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, have reported to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that they are ISPS compliant.
In Haiti, the shipping community is working closely with Coast Guard, the U.S. Embassy and the new government, to close the gap on security compliance.
"While we don't expect any issues with the ports in which we call meeting certification requirements, we have issued a provisional directive that all vessels will voluntarily raise their own security level until each of our ports is officially noted by the Coast Guard and IMO as being fully compliant," stated Alford.
In addition to Crowley's liner services facilities and vessels being in compliance with new security standards, the company also has prepared security plans, conducted security training and been certified for its ship assist and escort services; oil and chemical distribution and transportation services, and energy and marine services business segments.
While Crowley has been required to make capital improvements to meet the new security standards, the company has been able to offset some of those costs by securing port security upgrade grants through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Oakland-based Crowley Maritime Corp., founded in 1892, is primarily a family- and employee-owned company engaged in worldwide logistics, liner services, contract towing and transportation, energy support services, ship assist and escort services, vessel management and petroleum and chemical marine transport. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at www.crowley.com..