Marine Safety Information Bulletins

MSIB 06-19: Seafarer’s Access to Maritime Facilities

Editor’s note: The Office of Port and Facility Compliance posted a Marine Safety Information Bulletin to summarize the requirements and timeline for MTSA-regulated maritime facilities 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 MSIB does not provide any new information, but we are sharing it for the convenience of our readers.

The Coast Guard issued a final rule on April 1, 2019, “Seafarers Access to Maritime Facilities” requiring owners or operators of a maritime facility regulated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (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, in a timely manner and at no cost to the seafarer or other individuals. This final rule implements Section 811 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 requiring facility owners and operators to ensure mariners are provided secure, yet reasonable, no-cost opportunities to transit through MTSA-regulated facilities in order to access fundamental human services, and to visit with family and friends.

These access procedures located in 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 105.237, System for seafarers’ access, must be documented in the Facility Security Plan (FSP) for each facility and approved by the local Coast Guard Captain of the Port. Approximately 2,500 facilities nationwide are affected by these requirement.

Most MTSA-regulated facility owners or operators are already in compliance with these requirements. However, the Coast Guard is aware that some facility owners or operators will need to amend or update their FSPs. Each Captain of the Port will review any submitted amendments to ensure they are in compliance paying particular attention to the requirements listed in 33CFR105.237 (c)-(e). The local Captain of the Port may be contacted if there are any questions regarding an individual facility or security plan.

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.

For more information, visit the Federal Register notice or the Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities: Frequently Asked Questions, Maritime Commons Blog Post.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this bulletin, please contact Lt. Cmdr. Yamaris Barril, at (202) 372-1151 or by email at CGFAC@uscg.mil

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.