U.S. Coast Guard Toughens Stance on Gambia
The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that it will impose conditions of entry on vessels arriving from the Republic of the Gambia in Africa to protect the United States from vessels arriving from countries that have been found to have deficient port anti-terrorism measures in place.
This policy will become effective July 6, 2015.
Gambia becomes the third country this year to be subject to the policy. It follows other countries that the U.S. does not believe currently maintains effective anti-terrorism measures: Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Syria, Timor-Leste, Venezuela and Yemen.
Seven entry conditions have been set for vessels arriving in the U.S. that have visited any Gambian port within the vessel's last five port calls.
The vessels must:
• Implement measures per the vessel’s security plan equivalent to Security Level 2 while in a port in the Republic of the Gambia.
• Ensure that each access point to the vessel is guarded and that the guards have total visibility of the exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel while the vessel is in ports in the Republic of the Gambia.
• Guards may be provided by the vessel’s crew; however, additional crewmembers should be placed on the vessel if necessary to ensure that limits on maximum hours of work are not exceeded and/or minimum hours of rest are met, or provided by outside security forces approved by the vessel’s master and company security officer.
• Attempt to execute a Declaration of Security while in a port in the Republic of the Gambia.
• Log all security actions in the vessel’s security records.
• Report actions taken to the cognizant Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) prior to arrival into U.S. waters.
• In addition, based on the findings of the Coast Guard boarding or examination, the vessel may be required to ensure that each access point to the vessel is guarded by armed, private security guards and that they have total visibility of the exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel while in U.S. ports. The number and position of the guards has to be acceptable to the cognizant COTP prior to the vessel’s arrival.
The notice is available here.