U.S. Imposes Entry Restrictions on Vessels Traveling from Seychelles Due to ISPS NonCompliance

April 12: A report by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has found that Seychelles is not maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures at its port. 

The Seychelles Port Authority chair, Paul Hodoul, said the island nation wants to comply with the US standards but that “it is difficult for us to become ISPS compliant as there are many physical constraints at the port,” including the location of the administration building. 

According to an article on www.maritimenews.com, the deficiencies identified have been included in the International Port Security report, prepared by USCG as part of the International Port Security Programme.

The programme seeks to reduce risks to US maritime interests and to ease secure maritime trade globally. As part of the programme, officials visit ports and discuss the implementation and compliance to the ISPS code and other port security measures.

Hodoul added that the ISPS Code is a code implemented by USCG after the terrorist attack known as 9/11 in September 2001 and that it is difficult for Seychelles’ port to comply to the code on account of the state and design of Victoria Port, which was built decades ago, in 1972.

“The code states that nobody should be allowed to enter the port for any reason and that the administration building should not be here but rather should be located next to the fence so the public does not have access to the port,” Hodoul told reporters “This means we have to demolish the building where our offices are housed,” he added.

Hodoul said the port extension project, which is currently in the design phase takes into account the numerous recommendations of the ISPS report to ensure that Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – is compliant with the code in future.

“The code states that nobody should be allowed to enter the port for any reason and that the administration building should not be here but rather should be located next to the fence so the public does not have access to the port,” Hodoul told reporters “This means we have to demolish the building where our offices are housed,” he added.

Hodoul said the port extension project, which is currently in the design phase takes into account the numerous recommendations of the ISPS report to ensure that Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – is compliant with the code in future.

Following the publication of the report, the United States Coast Guard is as of April 12 imposing conditions of entry on vessels arriving in US waters that have visited a port of the island nation in its last five port calls.

For the extension project of Port Victoria, the Seychelles Ports Authority has received $41 million — $35 million from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The European Union (EU) has also provided a grant of around $6 million. The project is expected to be completed by 2021.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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