November 2, 2003

PVA security plan approved

The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) says that the PVA Industry Standard for Security of Passenger Vessels and Small Passenger Vessels has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for distribution to PVA vessel members in good standing to meet the requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.

"This is a significant achievement for the passenger vessel industry and a major benefit for PVA members," said PVA President Gary Frommelt. "It means that PVA members will have direct access to a security program that has already been thought through for them. They will have a viable and effective tool that will allow them to efficiently enhance their organization's security, while helping to meet the security needs of our Nation."

The Coast Guard published its final maritime security regulation in the Federal Register on October 22, 2003. Within that regulation, the Coast Guard officially designated the PVA security standard as an Alternative Security Program. PVA says it is one of only three suchprograms that were approved.

The security regulation requires that all vessels with a passenger capacity of more than 150 must develop a Vessel Security Plan. However, the regulation permits PVA members to use the PVA Industry Standard for Security of Passenger Vessels and Small Passenger Vessels as an alternative security plan.

Under this provision, PVA members would be allowed to send the Coast Guard a letter--to be received no later than December 31, 2003-- informing them of their intention to use the PVA alternative security standard. They will then have until June 30, 2004 to complete and implement their security plan.

Those electing not to use the PVA alternative security standard must develop a Vessel Security Plan and submit it to the Coast Guard for approval no later than December 31, 2003.

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