The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Information (MSIB 07-20) concerning the impact of COVID-19 to port and facility operators.
It is recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a myriad of unique operating conditions that warrant special considerations. Some challenges have included cruise ships mooring at facilities not approved for passenger operations, garbage removal, and facility and vessel crew interactions. Because of these operational concerns, the following clarification and guidance is provided to help ensure the safety and security of workers, ports, and facilities. Below is a summary of some of the issues covered in the Bulletin:
- Approved Facility Security Plans – (33 CFR 105.245) require a Declaration of Security (DoS) to be completed in certain situations. There is no requirement for the coordination of security needs and procedures, signature of the DoS, or implementation of agreed upon measures to be conducted in a face-to-face manner between the Facility Security Officer and the Master, Vessel Security Officer (VSO), or their designated representative.
- Declaration of Inspection (DOI) to be completed before any transfer of oil or hazardous material to or from a vessel – 33 CFR 156.150. The DOI meeting/conference can be completed over the radio, phone or at a safe social distance and still meet these requirements, however both PIC’s must communicate with each other before beginning any transfer. Additionally, both PIC’s shall sign the DOI, but it can be done electronically.
- Seafarer’s Access – Maritime facility operators are reminded they are not permitted to impede the embarkation/disembarkation of crew members as permitted under Seafarer’s Access regulations. Facility operators should contact their local CBP, Coast Guard, or the CDC, State and local health department offices regarding specific questions or concerns about their individual operations.
- Noncompliance with facility security requirements – 33 CFR 105.125. If a situation arises where a facility will not be able to comply with the requirements of 33 CFR 105, the facility must contact the Captain of the Port (COTP) to request and receive permission to temporarily deviate from the requirements. A potential situation where this can be used are modified escort requirements in secure areas or mooring a cruise ship at a non-passenger terminal.
- Waste Reception Facilities – Garbage and Medical Waste 33 CFR 158 regulations require all ports and terminals under the jurisdiction of the United States to provide vessels with reception facilities for garbage. International regulations require these reception facilities to have a Certificate of Adequacy (COA) issued by the Coast Guard that attests to their ability to offload garbage, which may include medical waste.
- TWIC Enrollment Centers – If applicants are planning to visit an enrollment center, please use the “Find an Enrollment Center” feature at the bottom of the Universal Enroll website to determine if the center is open.
To read the entire bulletin click here.
The U.S. Coast Guard also advises people to review the Center for Disease Control website for the latest information related to COVID-19.