Maritime Risk Factors and Economic Impact

Maritime Security Act

After the September 11 attack, the international community came together to implement a system to improve the security of maritime transport sector. Maritime security act of 2002 was formed in order to ensure that the procedures are followed to protect the America from terrorists’ threats. The act has four titles. It is an act of congress enacted to address ports and shipment security. The act came to effect on July 2004 (Ritter, Barrett, & Wilson, 2007). The act directs the secretary of transport to assess the vessels in the ports that are of high risk and makes ports vulnerable to terrorists’ attacks. This is to ensure all the cargoes that are shipped do not carry terrorists’ weapons. The secretary is supposed to assess vulnerability of ports in the U.S. In the act the secretary is required to prepare national maritime transportation security plan that would be used to protect against terrorism attacks and how to respond in case of terrorism incidents. The coordinator (Federal maritime security) is supposed to put forward the plan of maintaining security at the ports to the (maritime transportation) secretary. Vessel owners should as well present their plan (security). The security plans includes passenger and cargos screening, staff identification procedures, security patrols and control measures. The act also requires formation of area committees in all nations to ensure security of all ports and their plans of security to be able to deter, prevent and respond to terrorism threats (U.S Department of Homeland Security, 2002).

OECD: Security in Maritime Transport

World trade depends largely on maritime transportation systems. The government has been committed and has invested a lot of money in maintaining maritime security in order to protect trade which is important for economic growth. Organization for economic co-operation and development report explores the risk possessed by terrorists’ organizations and the impact they have on world economic growth. Maritime transportation is widely used for trade transportation. Maritime transportation is greatly involved in economic development and prosperity. There are risks factors involved in maritime transportation as many bulk vessels and goods are transported by sea for example cargos. The maritime system is porous enough to be able to ensure security. After terrorists attacks attention moves to containers security to ensure they are not used by terrorists to transport their weapons. Bulk vessels are used by OECD countries to transport hazardous materials for trade. Security has been maintained to ensure terrorists do not take advantage of these vessels. Another risk factor is trade disruption and security costs. Terrorism has great impact when it interferes with trade as a lot of fund is channeled towards maintaining security. In the OECD report, costs of maintaining security are estimated and shared among stakeholders such as large companies and all bodies involved in maintaining maritime security (OECD – Security in Maritime Transport, 2011).

The risk factors of terrorism must be balanced with economic impact to ensure development and prosperity. This can be achieved by cooperation of all stakeholders in following the rules set to maintain security. This prevents attacks by terrorists which cost a lot of money to bring back the economy to where it was and further development. Measures put in place should be strictly followed in order to protect trade from being disrupted as a result of terrorists’ attacks (Ritter, Barrett, & Wilson, 2007).

Reference List

U.S Department of Homeland Security (2002). Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA). Web.

OECD – Security in Maritime Transport (2011). Web.

Ritter, L., Barrett, J.M., & Wilson R. A. (2007). Securing Global Transport Networks. New York: McGraw hill professional.

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