Home » 3PL/4PL » APL security executive urges harmonized global regulations

OCEAN carriers and the world’s ports and marine terminals risk overlooking a real security threat unless nations align their regulations, a maritime security expert warned recently.

Earl Agron, Director of Port and Container Security for ocean-container carrier APL, said the problem stemmed from the interrelated nature of global trade. “Keep in mind that one country’s imports are another country’s exports, and still other countries’ in-transit and transshipment boxes,” Agron told an audience of shippers, carriers, port officials and others at the Asia Pacific Maritime Summit 2004 in Singapore.

“Each nation naturally wants to protect itself, and so issues regulations about container security.

The danger is that without harmonizing those regulations, we will all get lost in a maze of administrative requirements.” Missing the real threat The potential outcome, he said, was that maritime officials might become so involved in satisfying regulations that they could miss a real security threat when it happened.

Agron urged the World Customs Organization to take on the task of harmonizing container security regulations, which are currently being issued by the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore and other nations. He also questioned what would happen to vessels and ports that failed to meet the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, scheduled to come into effect July 1, 2004.

“It seems clear that the US, at least, will more than likely deny entry of non-compliant vessels after 1 July,” Agron observed. “The big question is, really, what will happen when a compliant vessel arrives at a compliant port, but has previously called someplace that is not in compliance? “The consequences are still being considered.

It is very important that this question be cleared up immediately to allow carriers to build back-up plans based on a well-defined set of consequences.”

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