2021-011-Global-Overview of the U.S. Maritime Advisory System
1. Issue: This Advisory provides updates to maritime security resources, websites, and information.
2. Guidance: The U.S. Maritime Advisory System website (www.maritime.dot.gov/msci), which contains all current and expired U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories is maintained by the Maritime Administration (MARAD). Upon U.S. Government (USG) clearance of Alerts and Advisories, they are broadcast by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and distributed via email. It is important to note these are USG products and are not solely MARAD or NGA authored products.
3. Feedback provided by U.S. commercial maritime stakeholders regarding the U.S. Maritime Advisory System has greatly supported the USG in pursuing continued enhancements to this system. Feedback to MARADSecurity@dot.gov is always welcome.
4. The primary maritime security reporting and information center for the Gulf of Guinea, Maritime Domain Awareness Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG), now hosts a web site at https://gog-mdat.org/home (does not currently load in Internet Explorer browsers), which contains all MDAT-GoG reports and other resources. Additionally, the “Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security Off the Coast of West Africa including the Gulf of Guinea” (available under the Geography – Gulf of Guinea pull-down menu at https://www.maritimeglobalsecurity.org/ provides additional guidance and resources for operating in this area.
5. The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance announced in the Federal Register the availability of Revision 8 to Maritime Security (MARSEC) Directive 104–6, which provides guidelines for U.S. vessels operating in high-risk waters (HRW) where acts of terrorism, piracy, and armed robbery against ships are prevalent. U.S. vessel owners and operators who have needed to take action under previous versions of MARSEC Directive 104–6 should immediately contact their local Coast Guard Captain of the Port or District Commander for a copy of Revision 8. This revision contains important updates to HRW locations and organizational responsibilities regarding addressing security risks in those waters. The recommended responses and actions within MARSEC Directive 104-6 do not apply to interactions with legitimate foreign government entities.
6. The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) publishes monthly Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) reports, which provide information on piracy and armed robbery at sea activity, trends, and details on recent incidents. The reports can be found on ONI's "Shipping Threat Reports" website at https://www.oni.navy.mil/news/shipping-threat-reports/.
7. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) Publication No. 117 (Radio Navigational Aids) provides communications and other important information for mariners. This resource is available at https://go.usa.gov/x6bXB and has been corrected to September of 2021 as noted in the preface of the publication.
8. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals, including related to specific countries and governments, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. In some cases, these sanctions may impact maritime trade. On May 14, 2020 OFAC, together with the Department of State and the Coast Guard, issued a global advisory to alert the maritime industry, and those active in the energy and metals sectors, to deceptive shipping practices used to evade sanctions; the advisory can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/x6QuG. Additional OFAC sanctions information and notices can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xpgJ7. Questions relating to OFAC sanctions may be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Department of State has certain authorities to implement a range of nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and Iran-related sanctions, among others, which may impact maritime trade. Information about non-proliferation sanctions can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xwA2z.
9. The U.S. Department of State maintains a list of countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. Taken together, the four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation under these authorities include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions. The list of countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism is available at: https://www.state.gov/state-sponsors-of-terrorism/.
10. U.S. Centers for Disease Control Travel Notices may impact maritime interests, especially during overseas crew changes or passenger embarkation/disembarkation, and can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xExEN. Numerous updates to the website have occurred since the last publication of this advisory including information on COVID-19. U.S. Maritime Alerts and/or Advisories may occasionally be published to highlight health threats depending on their scope, urgency, and impact, but mariners are advised to become familiar with this web resource and refer to it prior to traveling.
11. U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories discuss safety and security information that should be reviewed by U.S. mariners prior to disembarkation in foreign ports. These travel advisories are available at: https://go.usa.gov/xyad7.
12. The Maritime Global Security website at https://www.maritimeglobalsecurity.org/ offers industry issued best practices and guidance to mariners by geographic region and provides contact and subscription information for regional maritime security reporting centers, particularly in high risk-areas.
13. Maritime industry stakeholders who wish to receive U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories should send request to MaradSecurity@dot.gov. Additional information on the U.S. Maritime Advisory System can be found at https://go.usa.gov/x6QJc. It should be noted that some of the URLs referenced above will not load in Internet Explorer browsers.
14. Contact Information: Questions regarding the U.S. Maritime Advisory System may be emailed to the Global Maritime Operational Threat Response Coordination Center at GMCC@uscg.mil. Additional contact information is available on the U.S. Maritime Advisory System website listed above.
15. This Advisory will automatically expire on June 15, 2022.