April 16, 2019
U.S. Coast Guard published the Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities Final
Rule in the Federal Register April 1, 2019, requiring owners and operators of
Maritime Transportation Security Act-regulated facilities to provide seafarers
holding valid U.S. visas and other covered individuals with the ability to
transit through the facility in a timely manner and at no cost to the
this rule, each owner or operator of a maritime facility regulated by the Coast
Guard is required to implement a system providing seafarers, pilots, and
representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations access between
vessels moored at the facility and the facility gate, in a timely manner and at
no cost to the seafarer or other individuals. The final rule provides
regulatory flexibility to owners and operators to determine the method of shore
access that best suits the size and function of their facility. These methods
may include, but are not limited to, providing regularly scheduled or on-call
shuttle service, taxi service, arrangements with seafarers’ welfare
organizations, or monitoring of pedestrian routes.
access procedures must be documented in the Facility Security Plan for each
facility and approved by the local Captain of the Port. Although the final rule
is effective May 1, 2019, each facility owner or operator has 14 months after
publication of the final rule (June 1, 2020) to implement a system. This
delayed implementation allows the Captain of the Port to work with each
facility in the event of deficiencies in the plan.
copy of the final rule can be found here.