SEAFARERS ACCESS TO MARITIME FACILITIES

On April 1, 2019, the USCG issued a final rule, “Seafarers Access to Maritime Facilities” requiring owners or operators of a maritime facility regulated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) 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. Access between the vessel and the gate has to be provided in a timely manner and at no cost to the seafarer or other individuals.

These access procedures must be documented in the Facility Security Plan (FSP) for each regulated Part 105 facility and approved by the local Captain of the Port (COTP). Facility owners or operators will need to amend or update their FSP to ensure that they are in compliance with these requirements. The COTP will then review the submitted amendments to ensure they are in compliance with the requirements listed in 33CFR105.237 (c)-(e).

Important dates associated with the regulation:

  • May 1, 2019 – Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities regulation became effective;
  • February 3, 2020 – The system of access must be documented in the FSP; and,
  • June 1, 2020 – The facility owner or operator must implement their system of access.

33CFR105.237 (c)-(e) Requirements:

(c) Timely access

(d) Access methods

(e) No cost to individuals