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Port & Maritime

The U.S. Government concluded after the 9/11 attack that commercial port operations represent an enormous risk exposure. With over 360 U.S. ports receiving ships and containers from over 10,000 foreign ports, the maritime/port vulnerability factor needed to be addressed for the protection of people, infrastructure, goods, property and the economy.

Our ports must contend with security issues such as alien smuggling, cargo theft, drug smuggling, piracy and terrorist activities, as well as natural and man-made disasters that impact operations. Simply having the ability to move large quantities of cargo through a port in a short period of time is no longer enough in order to remain both safe and competitive. Security lapses at port facilities can cause cargo handling delays or losses, and jeopardize personal safety and society at large. Security weaknesses in and around our ports reduce competitiveness, threaten military readiness and degrade our quality of life. Government cooperation with industry to identify and improve security weaknesses, while at the same time maintaining or improving upon the efficiencies for the movement of cargo, is the basis upon which current port security measures are being approached.

The New Security Standards

In November 2001 following the 9/11 attack, the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) unanimously agreed to the development of new measures and standards for the security of ships and port facilities, for adoption by a Conference of Contracting Governments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS 1974). In December 2002 this Conference adoptednew provisions to SOLAS 1974, and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) was introduced. These are now used as minimum standards from which signatory nations develop their own country-specific security standards for ships and port facilities.

The ISPS Code and the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) require certain U.S. flagged vessels, port facilities and ports to comply with a rigorous set of security measures, practices and attestations. Owners/operators of port facilities are required – through their Facility Security Officer (FSO) – to conduct Facility Security Assessments (FSA) and develop Facility Security Plans (FSP). FSAs must address vulnerability and risks through security countermeasures, communications, drill and exercises, record keeping, training and education. Certain Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) are also required to be compliant with the MTSA. The U.S. Department of Transportation, under MTSA, has directed the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to develop training, education and certification standards for FSOs, Company Security Officers (CSOs), Ship Security Officers (SSOs), port and ship personnel with specific security duties, and for general awareness for all other personnel.

Port and Maritime Security Compliance Assessment Program (PMS-CAP™)

Risk Solutions International and Blue Water Partners Global have developed the Port and Maritime Security Compliance Assessment Program (PMS-CAP™) to assist the industry in meeting and sustaining MTSA compliance and understanding the various Maritime Security (MARSEC) Levels. PMS-CAP provides subject matter expertise, independent assessment and remediation, and training/exercising/education services to port authorities, port facilities, and affected vessels and shipping companies. PMS-CAP enables them to take MARAD-approved Maritime Security Awareness courses to understand the regulations that affect their operations, licenses, risk exposure and liability; to develop programs to reach and sustain compliance; and to train their officers and personnel to meet continuing compliance thresholds. PMS-CAP includes:

  • Security & Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs) that comply with ISPS Code and MTSA regulations. Facility Security Assessments (FSA) address vulnerability and risks through security countermeasures, communications, drills and exercises, record keeping, training and education.
  • Ship Security Assessments (SSA) audit physical security, personnel protection systems, procedural policies and communications.
  • Facility Security Plans (FSP) that ensure the application of measures designed to protect the port facility and ships, persons, cargo, cargo transport units and ships stores within the port facility from the risks of a security incident. The FSO is responsible for the development, implementation, revision, and maintenance of the FSP and for liaison with SSOs and CSOs.
  • Ship Security Plans (SSP) that address the organizational structure of the ship and its relationships between all authorities and their duties; communications between ships and port facilities; basic security measures for MARSEC Level 1 and additional security measures for Levels 2 and 3; regular reviews or audits of the plan and amendments; detailed reporting; and procedures required by the appropriate Contracting Government.
  • Custom Exercise Plans for port facilities and port authorities, shipping companies and vessels, to test compliance, communication, resources and the four phases of emergency management – prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
  • On-site and Web-based Training for FSOs, CSOs, SSOs, port and ship personnel with specific security duties, and for general awareness for all other maritime personnel - covers the ISPS Code and the MTSA 2002 regulations. Our MARAD approved Maritime Security Awareness course provides all the necessary tools to efficiently manage port facilities, companies’ fleets and vessels, while maintaining operational continuity. These courses provide the training, knowledge and government (MARAD) qualifications to be able to carry out each person’s required security responsibilities and duties.
  • Audit Preparation Guides FSOs, CSOs and SSOs through the internal annual audit of their security plan/s and prepares them for their United States Coast Guard annual audit and spot inspections.
  • Port Authority - Continuity of Operations (COOP) for city and county port authorities to help them plan for, manage through, and recover from crises, emergencies, natural disasters or terrorism events that threaten to disrupt normal operations.

All PMS-CAP services and solutions are ISPS, MTSA, NIMS, NFPA, ICS and ICP compliant – and are considered industry best practices. Meeting these thresholds can be important to both operational and legal challenges after a critical incident occurs. Our solutions address all natural and man-made hazards including weather civil unrest, strikes, workplace violence, chemical spills, biological releases, WMD, CBRNE, black-outs, floods and terrorism.

Unparalleled Expertise

Our team is composed of highly trained and certified industry practitioners with experience across a wide spectrum of commercial, educational and governmental entities. Our consultants are pragmatic industry thought leaders in Maritime Risk Management, Business and Government Continuity Management, Disaster Recovery, Supply Chain and Vendor Continuity Management, Emergency and Crisis Management, Security Management, Risk Assessment and Compliance.

Our experts include a Lloyds Register Certified CSO/SSO/PFSO (Port Facility Security Officer) Training Instructor for International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. One is a former Captain USCG, specializing in intermodel transportation security systems, risk, disaster, emergency management and strategic maritime planning. Another was Managing Director, Maritime Security Division, USCG MSO Boston Model Port Security Team. We include a member of the United Kingdom Special Forces, Special Operations and Intelligence Operative and Physical Security consultant, who provides training on Maritime Homeland Security terrorist related issues, maritime security, risk and claims investigation for maritime insurance clients. The team also includes Professional Emergency Managers (PEM), American Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National/International Crisis Negotiators’ Consortium, and International Association of Law Enforcement Trainers. One is an expert from the FBI’s National Domestic Preparedness Office (for WMD) and another is a former leader of the US Air Force Disaster Preparedness Program – dealing with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) threats. Others are Certified Business Continuity Professionals (CBCP) or members of the New York City Partnership for Security & Risk Management Task Force. We staff the chairman of the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII). Our team has global supply chain expertise in consumer packaged goods, apparel and pharmaceuticals.

The employees of Blue Water Partners Global have a broad range of security, business and information technology experience. The experience spans from the UK Special Forces to advising the International Atomic Energy Agency on information technology policies to help them better deter nuclear proliferation. For more information about Blue Water Partners Global, please visit


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