U.S. Expects New Global Standards to Boost Maritime Security
Domestic plans include new security measures,
Implementation of new international maritime security standards
will boost the United States' and other countries' ability to prevent
terrorists from attacking their ports or using ships as weapons,
the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says.
In June 21 remarks at the California ports of Los Angeles and
Long Beach, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said that the
International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which
establishes world standards for ship and port security, will harmonize
maritime security procedures around the world and mandate specific
"We will now be able to rely on our international partners," Ridge
The appropriate authorities in each country will be better able
to secure the physical infrastructure at their ports and to verify
the identity of and the potential risk posed by a particular foreign
vessel before it calls in a country's port, he said.
The ISPS Code, a set of new maritime regulations negotiated under
the auspices of the International Maritime Organization, is designed
to help detect and deter threats to international security. It
contains requirements for governments, port authorities and shipping
companies that take effect July 1. Ships or shipments arriving
from ports that do not fulfill the ISPS requirements by that deadline
could face sanctions including denial of entry to other international
Ridge said that the United States is already in full compliance
with the requirements of the ISPS Code.
The secretary indicated March 23 that the Bush administration
has offered to help ports in other countries meet the new security
In an April 15 news release, the U.S. Coast Guard, which is responsible
for enforcing maritime safety and security in the United States,
said it would send teams to countries around the world to help
them evaluate their compliance with the ISPS Code, share information
about best practices and provide technical assistance if necessary.
Ridge also updated port authorities on implementation of the Maritime
Transportation Act of 2002, a domestic law designed to protect
U.S. ports and waterways from a terrorist attack. He said that
the Coast Guard has received "nearly" all port and ship security
assessments and plans required by the law. These plans include
new security measures -- some of which will be known only to the
professionals charged with safety and security, he added.
Ridge also commented on efforts to secure the entire supply chain,
particularly cargo containers, and public-private security partnership
Following is the text of his remarks as prepared for delivery:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
June 21, 2004
PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TOM RIDGE
AT THE PORTS OF LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH
(Los Angeles, CA) June 21, 2004 -- Thank you for that introduction;
it is a pleasure to be with you, here at America's busiest seaport.
The traffic through this port is an indication of how important
the entire maritime industry is to the health of our nation's economy
-- contributing more than one trillion dollars to the annual GDP
[gross domestic programs].
And ports like this one are the gateway into the vastly interconnected
global economy. Ninety-five percent of all international overseas
trade moves through our Nation's ports. Much of it -- $1 billion
a day of economic activity -- happens right here at the Ports of
Los Angeles and Long Beach. In addition, more that eight thousand
foreign flag vessels make 60,000 port calls annually. And nearly
200 million passengers on cruise ships and ferries travel in and
out every year.
But it's not difficult to recognize the critical importance of
our seaports not only to a thriving economy, but also to a safe
and secure homeland. Behind each ship is a long journey -- and
a long story -- one that can rarely be understood by just observing
from the dock.
For instance, shortly after I began serving as the President's
Homeland Security Advisor, I boarded a ship in New Orleans Harbor.
The vessel was registered in Singapore; the crew was from India;
the cargo was American grain, on its way to Japan! And that is
just the beginning. Nine million containers arrive on those ships
into our Nation's 361 seaports every year -- more than 30 percent
of them here in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Once they reach shore, they are stacked and stored in shipyards...then
carried on trains and trucks across the country...and their contents
are delivered to warehouses and waiting customers...from Los Angeles
to Lawrence, Kansas.
The story doesn't end with the ships themselves. To this picture
add the critical infrastructure at and around our ports -- plants,
refineries, hangars, stockyards and, of course, nearby port communities.
There are many opportunities for terrorists ... many places for
them to move and hide...many ways to harm our citizens, our economy,
our way of life -- and those of our friends and neighbors around
the world. Securing our ports and maritime industry is an enormous
However, I am pleased to report that today our ports are more
secure than they have ever been...thanks to a comprehensive, coordinated
system of common standards, layered security, and advanced technologies.
Shipping is a global industry; terrorism is a global problem; and
our collective security requires a global solution.
In the past, efforts to secure this vast global industry -- both
here in America and throughout the world -- were isolated, scattered
A port of origin might inspect cargo manifests, but ignore physical
securities around their port. While a port of arrival might employ
security personnel, but fail to double-check container contents
or crew credentials. Like other areas of critical vulnerability,
we recognized this problem, coordinated with stakeholders and partners,
identified best practices, and took specific actions to secure
our homeland -- and the global economy.
I am pleased to announce that as of today, the United States is
in full compliance with the requirements of the International Ship
and Port Facility Security Code -- just in time to meet the July
1st deadline. For the first time ever, this international effort
will establish one world standard for ship and port security. It
will help create a culture of security at ports around the world
and mandate specific improvements.
With the implementation of these new international standards,
the U.S. will be better able to harden physical infrastructure,
verify the security of individual vessels before they approach
a U.S. port, and better restrict access to our port areas. Adherence
to this code will increase our ability -- and that of our neighbors
-- to prevent terrorists from attacking our ports or using ships
In the past, we have been forced to rely on a patchwork of security
procedures. With the implementation of these comprehensive new
standards, we will now be able to rely on our international partners.
We are now able to verify the security of individual vessels before
they call on a U.S. port...before they can pose a threat...and
those not in compliance may not be allowed to enter our ports.
Our efforts to enhance maritime security here at home continue
to be led by the Coast Guard.
Before September 11th, the Coast Guard committed less than 2 percent
of its assets to active port security.
Today, we have refocused the Coast Guard mission to make homeland
security its top priority. The President's request to Congress
for next year has a 51 percent increase for the Coast Guard's operating
expenses. We added more than 2000 people to their ranks, and created
13 rapid response Maritime Safety and Security Teams, deployed
at ports on both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico.
The result: as they protect more than 360 ports and 95,000 miles
of coastline in the United States, last year the Coast Guard conducted
more than 36,000 port security patrols, 8,000 security related
boardings, and escorted more than 7,000 vessels.
In addition, the Coast Guard has been vital to the development
-- and implementation -- of the Maritime Transportation Security
On top of the international standards of the ISPS Code, the United
States has required vessels and port facilities to conduct vulnerability
assessments, submit action plans, and increase security by the
same July 1st deadline.
The Coast Guard has received nearly one hundred percent of the
security assessments and plans required under this law. When the
deadline arrives, ports and vessels will have already begun implementing
these new security measures around the country. The Coast Guard
has reviewed thousands of security plans from ship owners and terminal
operators. These plans include several new security measures that
you will begin to see on July 1st - and others that will remain
invisible. Some will be obvious to the public, others will remain
known only to the professionals charged with safety and security.
You might notice increased identification checks, additional screenings,
more canine teams, and higher fences. Behind the scenes, facilities
might install surveillance cameras, establish restricted areas,
provide additional training, and increase or improve security personnel
It is important to note, however, that these security plans are
not "prescriptive" or "one-size-fits-all." As it was intended,
the MTSA provides uniform and objective standards of security,
but gives ports maximum flexibility to choose the protective measures
that meet their specific needs.
For example, facilities are required to screen passengers and
baggage, but individual locations could choose whether they use
x-ray machines, metal detectors, or some other means as technology
Going forward, the U.S. Coast Guard will conduct assessments with
teams of experts who simulate terrorist attacks on port facilities
-- to determine which vulnerabilities still exist and where. Then,
they can work with individual ports on additional training and
security measures to further solidify our efforts in and around
Thanks to these new standards -- and the work of so many of you
here today -- we now have a robust baseline of security in place
for all of our nation's ports...and a certification program to
ensure that foreign flagged vessels docking in U.S. ports have
met U.S. generated security requirements.
Of course, these new security standards -- and the plans that
are putting them into effect -- are just one tool in our worldwide
layers of defense.
Those layers begin thousands of miles away...even before a container
is loaded or a ship pushes off for the United States...and they
continue until we can be sure that our ports, and the people they
serve, are safe and secure.
In the time that I have been speaking, more than 100 containers
will have entered this port. I'd like to take you along on the
voyage of just one of these containers, and explain some of the
layered defenses that have been put in place along the way. The
cargo supply chain is a complex system of movements; and security
must start long before the container is loaded on to a ship for
transport and must be present throughout the supply chain.
From the cutting floor in Thailand to final delivery in the "Heartland," we
are ensuring that security is infused at every step of the process.
24 hours before a container is even loaded onto a cargo vessel,
the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border protection
unit receives electronic transmission of advance cargo manifests
from all U.S. bound containers.
Early reports from industry show that this 24-hour rule is aiding
not just security, but productivity. This advance information is
then analyzed by our National Targeting Center [NTC], to compare
against law enforcement data, the latest threat intelligence and
the ships' history, in order to identify potentially high-risk
Accurate information at every stage of this process is critical
to our overall security. Therefore, we must continue to ensure
that information and intelligence gets to the people that can act
on it. In this case, the risk analysis performed by the NTC is
passed on to officers at the first port of arrival. Next, Homeland
Security officials use advanced technologies and risk analysis
to begin our first layers of security far from American shores.
Under the Container Security Initiative [CSI], we have placed
CBP [Customs and Border Protection] inspectors at 19 foreign seaports
from Vancouver to Rotterdam to Singapore. These officers work alongside
our allies to target and screen containers aboard cargo ships headed
for the United States.
During a trip across the high seas, information about a container
or its contents can be monitored and mapped against possible threats.
The Coast Guard uses this real time information to track high
risk vessels, and when necessary, further screen or board potentially
threatening ships. These intelligence based actions help prevent
problems long before a ship enters our waters.
Once in transit, the next layer is the container itself. The Department
is working closely with industry partners to create a more secure
container. For example, several major importers are testing tamper
resistant seals and technology that can track containers during
Also, through Operation Safe Commerce, we are testing additional
container technology devices and business processes that will help
create a smarter, more secure container.
Once a container arrives at our shores, CBP officers thoroughly
scan 100 percent of the high-risk containers using advanced x-ray
and radiation screening equipment. Containers that need further
screening are taken to a secure location.
There, the higher-risk shipments are physically inspected for
terrorist weapons and contraband prior to being released from the
port of entry.
Sometimes, however, regular common sense can be our greatest security
tool. A great example of the effectiveness of our people and programs
occurred at a port like this one last summer.
Customs and Border Patrol Agents -- using the electronic information
they were provided about a ship transiting from China to El Salvador
-- seized a cache of weapons worth more than $421,000.
The ship was traveling without a permit and was mismarked as...frozen
trout! Problem was, that frozen trout was making the long trip
across the Pacific in an un-refrigerated cargo container.
In this case -- and many others like it -- alert officers using
information, ingenuity, and initiatives like CSI helped us achieve
what we call "Maritime Domain Awareness".
That means knowledge of the area, of conditions and of our capabilities.
We must strive to apply this principle to every ship and container
entering our ports.
The more we know, the more terrorists we stop in their tracks
-- and the more we deter from attempting to penetrate our ports.
We are increasing security to ensure that our ports remain open,
but we must do so while continuing to facilitate the flow of commerce.
We must find the appropriate balance between our security and our
economy -- between inspecting every container and keeping trade
Of course, we cannot do this alone. In addition to working with
foreign governments, The Department of Homeland Security's Customs
and Border Protection unit is partnering with business to help
secure the supply chain.
For instance, our Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism
[C-TPAT]enlists the private sector to help secure the entire supply
chain. To date, more than 6,000 manufacturers, forwarders, brokers,
carriers and other key supply chain actors are participating in
Programs like C-TPAT are helping our industry partners reach a
higher degree of security across their entire supply chain.
Those that succeed qualify for time- and money-saving incentives
such as "FAST" lane access and reduced inspections. Traffic World
magazine reports that C-TPAT has "drawn some of the strongest praise
business has ever heaped on a government program."
Businesses are also proud of their participation in Operation
Safe Commerce. This pilot program analyzes security in the commercial
supply chain and tests solutions to close any gaps. The technologies
tested through the program will enhance maritime cargo security,
protect the global supply chain, and facilitate the flow of commerce.
Not surprisingly, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are
not only the Nation's largest, but our best examples of layered
You are helping to lead the Nation's port security effort -- in
part because of the healthy competition between Los Angeles and
Long Beach, but also on account of your unprecedented cooperation
when it comes to security.
This port has been involved with the development, implementation,
and success of nearly every initiative from point of origin to
destination -- all the while protecting the vital commerce that
passes through these docks and slips every day.
Los Angeles/Long Beach was home to one of the first Maritime Safety
and Security Teams; has participated in the pilots for several
security initiatives such as the Transportation Worker's Identity
Card; deployed officers overseas, and hosted foreign officials
as part of CSI; and have set the standard for partnership with
the local community, including 100 C-TPAT accounts with area
And, as I've mentioned, you've also served as an important test
bed for Operation Safe Commerce. We are looking forward to the
arrival of the first containers under this program in just a few
The Department has been proud to partner with you on so many occasions
as we layer our port security measures across the nation and around
the globe. But we have been even more proud to watch as these two
competing facilities partner with each other to ensure the security
of this entire complex.
This port and our other public-private port initiatives are great
examples of what we can accomplish in partnership. Yet, securing
our ports cannot rest solely on the efforts of government.
We will do our part -- as we have by allocating more than $500
million in port security grants for the very last layer of defense.
But, as owners and operators, the private sector must play a large
role in the development and funding of advanced security procedures
Securing our ports and waterways is a team effort -- everyone,
from local government and private citizens to the international
community, plays an important role in ensuring that our waterways
remain open for business.
We must coordinate our efforts with our trading partners. We must
enlist the expertise of the maritime industry and local government
agencies. We must use the eyes and ears of our citizens, who are
the true regional experts, to notice when something is amiss.
All of these efforts -- each and every layer of security -- are
geared toward finding that critical balance between security, freedom,
and prosperity. We must find a way to keep our ports open to legitimate
trade and travelers but closed to terrorists. I believe we have
made significant progress toward that goal.
We've become more confident and more aware. As you know, homeland
security is a national strategy, not a federal one; a worldwide
effort, not just an American one.
It's about the integration of a nation and a world -- driven by
a philosophy of shared responsibility, shared leadership, and shared
accountability -- in essence, a renewed commitment to the federalism
upon which our nation was founded.
I'm quite grateful for the resolve and responsibility shown by
all Americans -- especially those of you here today who work hard
to protect this country and its citizens. And I ask that we continue
to work together as we have time and again to achieve our dreams
and goals -- and preserve America as the world's greatest home