Ports getting shipshape on security

Truckers serving the nation’s seaports are going to see a range of security efforts start up in the wake of new security regulations that went into effect on July 1. And ports will try to find ways to pay for the new security measures. The new regulations include the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code implemented by the United Nations and the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act

Truckers serving the nation’s seaports are going to see a range of security efforts start up in the wake of new security regulations that went into effect on July 1. And ports will try to find ways to pay for the new security measures.

The new regulations include the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code implemented by the United Nations and the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, which were both developed to give ports worldwide the ability to detect and potentially thwart terrorist efforts.

Complying with the new rules won’t be cheap. For example, the Jacksonville Port Authority said operating expenses for its 2005 fiscal year are projected to be $23.8 million -- a 13% increase from 2004. Much of the spending increase is due to security-related measures, rising 41% from $2.3 million in 2004 to $3.3 million in 2005.

However, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the roll out of these international standards is critical to help the U.S. improve the physical infrastructure of its ports, verify the security of individual vessels before they approach a U.S. port, and better restrict access to port areas.

“Over 80% of world trade travels by sea,” Ridge said. “By taking a layered, cooperative and balanced approach to strengthening the international maritime system, we are not only further securing our country, we are also protecting U.S. economic interests and the global economy.”

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