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02/12/2004 | Hecha la ley: ABS Consulting wins OAS contract to help Latin Americans with ISPS compliance

Martin Edwin Andersen

 

ABS Consulting has won a first-of-its-kind contract with the Organization of American States (OAS) to help Latin American countries to comply with new regulations established by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), Port Security News has learned. The “proof-of-concept” award, which was made by the Washington, D.C.-based multilateral organization on September 24, calls for ABS Consulting to “help their member countries by going in, taking a look at the current state of affairs of a country to see the degree of compliance with ISPS as it exists today, then helping that country come up with an interpretation document—if they haven’t got one already,” said Kenneth J. Egan, the company’s security services project manager, in an interview.

The Houston-based ABS, which helps companies worldwide design, build, operate, and maintain offshore, port and terminal facilities, was chosen after a request for proposal from the OAS went out earlier this year.

The ISPS contains detailed security requirements for governments, port authorities and shipping companies, as well as a series of guidelines for how to meet them. However, unlike the requirements set down in the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA), which went into effect last July 1, the standards for ISPS Code “are not as rigid,” Egan added.

“The ISPS is written in such a way that it is subject to the interpretation of the host country,” explained Egan, a former deputy director of the Coast Guard’s ISPS compliance program.

“Because ISPS allows for members to make reciprocal visits and inspect each others’ ports, the U.S. Coast Guard has taken the initiative (to do that),” he added. “But when they go out—they don’t want anyone to fail, ideally, they’d like everyone to be in a position to pass—so they welcome initiatives like the one we will be doing with the OAS to help countries become compliant.”

Egan said that the countries will be able to “take advantage of best practices and to form a communications bridge (between) them and the Coast Guard about what works and what doesn’t.

“We’ll be doing it in a generic way, but you will be able into go into a database with parameters for a facility, and just based on a parameter search come back with other facilities globally that have encountered the same issue—then what they have done about it,” he said. 

Egan said ABS was starting with one Latin American country “to prove the concept—reviewing the current status of the country, whether they are in compliance, we’ll help document what they’ve got, do on-site visits to ports, and assess a representative sample of ports in the country, based on cargo traffic patterns.”

“Within the ports, we’ll do a representative sample of facilities to represent cargo and trading patterns,” he added.

Martin Edwin Andersen can be reached at Mick_Andersen@portsecuritynews.com

Copyright (C) 2004 Port Security News

Port Security News is a trademark of USCongress.org.

Port Security News (Estados Unidos)

 


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