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Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) (Other (Not Listed) Sample)


discussing the major points of Maritime Trasportation Security ACT, its significant to the maritme security and maritime industry. The paper also discuss the amendements that have been made since it was enacted in 2002 and if the agencies deployed are able to meet their deadline.


Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA)
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The maritime industry is one of the largest industries in the world. Attention and knowledge should be highly utilized when implementing maritime security to improve the security in sea operations and facilities. Maritime security is a specialized sector that enhances maritime security and ensures that marine officers develop strategies and plans to defend their facilities and vessels against external and internal threats. These threats include illegal transportation of goods, people trafficking, terrorism, theft and robbery, piracy, illegal fishing, among others. For proper defense, every threat requires a different strategical plan to reduce threats to maritime security. US law came up with the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002 to address waterways and port security. Its full provisions came into action in July 2004 (Guard, 2014). MTSA has security plans for all ports in the US that helps in identifying and shutting out threats. This paper discusses what MTSA entails, its benefit to maritime security and industry. Also, this research shows recent amendments that have been made to MTSA and state if the Act has made the industry safer and secure.
Maritime Transportation Act of 2002
Maritime Transportation Act of 2002 (MTSA) is a congress act put into law in November 2002 to address waterway and port security (Carey, 2003). The MTSA is an amendment to the Merchant Marine Act and gives rules to which vessels and facilities in the marine industry are supposed to adhere. Mainly, the MTSA is a security program that aims to pinpoint and put off threats and risks at the waterways and the port.
MTSA protects maritime workers in various ways. For example, according to the maritime laws, all vessels should be fit for the sea, and injuries caused by unseaworthy vessels are covered under Jones Act. 
Significant of MTSA to the Maritime Sector and Security
The MTSA is an important section of the legislation that insists on security for the maritime transportation system both at the national and international levels. It provides a very important structure that ensures that the US domestic ports and maritime commerce are well secured. The main objective of MTSA is to shut out any incident that would disrupt transportation security and cause loss of life, disruption in the transportation system, environmental damages, and economic disruption (Carey,2003).
The shipping companies must follow all security measures enacted in MTSA to ensure that maritime workers are safe. MTSA has enforced some security programs which include providing security patrol, properly identifying and screening personnel, and establishing restricted areas. According to Elias et al. (2016), areas exposed to higher risk, such as vessels that carry hazardous or explosive gases must follow these laws keenly. The MTSA also regulates vessels that are supposed to carry a certain cargo weight and carry a specified number of people.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), MTSA aims to add and strengthen extra preventive layers of defense to the country’s port security (Guard,2014). Additionally, by providing landmark legislation that needs security plans for facilities, maritime security committees, and vessels involved in security incident transportation, thus preventing terrorist attacks. In 2002, International Maritime Organization (IMO) viewed maritime security from a global perspective and came up with International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code (Carey, 2003). Therefore, MTSA has been working hand in hand to support maritime security globally to fight piracy and terrorism. They both have contributed to effective protection against several types of threats that include theft, smuggling, piracy, willful damage, and hijacking. 
MTSA has played a big role in the security assessment of vessels and facilities. The law states that all facility and vessel operators and owners carry out a performance-based security analysis using a risk-based methodology (Guard,2014). This approach estimates the probability of a security breach to endanger an individual, an asset, or a purpose. The approach helps to identify ways of minimizing the vulnerability to a security breach and indicate its consequences. For example, an assessment might disclose the weakness in an institution's security system, such as unguarded access points. To reduce these vulnerabilities, the facility can implement procedures like security patrols or locking mechanisms of the doors to prevent access of unauthorized people to the restricted areas.
Another significance of MTSA is that it calls for plans progression at the individual, port or national vessel, or facility level. All vessels involved in passenger or cargo tasks must have security plans that address important security procedures such as overloading, cargo or passengers handling, personnel training, the establishment of secured areas, access control, and incident reporting. This plan is implemented after every vessel has completed an analysis of security vulnerabilities particular to the operation. MTSA also states that the security plan should include the qualifications and training information of all the security personnel onboard.
To examine whether the facility or a vessel complies with these rules, The Coast Guard performs inspections annually which might be announced or unannounced. In 2016, the Coastal Guard recorded only 0.3% non-compliance after completing thousands of security-related annual spot checks and examinations in the regulated areas (Elias et al., 2016). 
Lastly, MTSA has enhanced transportation workers' identification and security threat assessment to regulate access to the regulated facility and vessel. Once they undergo threat analysis, they receive Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), biometric-enabled (Monacelli, 2008). TWIC ensures that employees who require unaccompanied access to unauthorized vessels and facilities are checked against a specific list of disqualifying offenses such as criminal and terrorism activities. 
Amendments of MTSA
Since Maritime Transportation Security Act was enacted, it has been of great help as the ports and the waterways are far way better and safer than they were before. However, some areas of improvement have been pointed out and amended accordingly. For example, the existing risk assessment models had shortcomings, and in 2005 the Coast Guard developed and enacted Maritime Security Risk Assessment Model (MSRAM) to enhance better risk assessment (Weiss and Davis, 2005). In 2011 it was reported that MSRAM provides Coast Guard with high standard ways of risk assessment to the maritime infrastructure (Guard, 2014). Customs and Border Protection, responsible for screening vessels and maritime cargo, has also implemented various rules to enhance maritime security. For example, to enhance its ability to target high-risk shipments, it implemented a rule known as 10+2 in 2009 (Guard, 2014). The information required by this rule comprises 10 data elements from the importer and 2 data elements from the vessel carrier, which are supposed to be submitted to CBP before the shipment's arrival.
In 2006, MTSA was amended by Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act) (Frittelli, 2008). The act required DHS to come up with a strategic plan that will enhance the supply chain globally. It also requires them to set up pilot projects at several ports to test the viability of scanning the US-bound cargo containers 100% at foreign cargo (Elias et al., 2016). However, maritime secur

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