Maritime Transportation Security Act Law and Legal Definition

The Maritime Transportation Security Act (“Act”) is intended to protect the U.S. ports and waterways from terrorist attacks. The Act creates a consistent security program for all the nation’s ports to better identify and deter threats. The security regulations under the Act primarily focus on those areas of the maritime industry that have a higher risk of involvement in a transportation security incident. This Act requires vessels and port facilities to:

1. conduct vulnerability assessments, and develop security plans that may include passenger, vehicle and baggage screening procedures;

2. conduct security patrols;

3. establish restricted areas;

4. establish personnel identification procedures;

5. access control measures; and

6. install surveillance equipment.

The Act mandates that foreign flagged ships should meet specific requirements and comply with the International Ship and Port Security Code. The Act also requires the establishment of Area Maritime Security Committees in all national ports.