United States Senate sees international security standards as critical in letter to IMO Secretary-General

The United States Senate views the adoption of a robust, uniform and predictable set of international security standards as critical to meeting the increased need for global maritime security, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation states in a letter to IMO Secretary-General Mr. William A. O'Neil.

The letter, signed by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman Ernest F. Hollings (South Carolina) and Ranking Republican John McCain (Arizona), followed a visit to Washington by Mr. Tom Allan, Chairman of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).

The letter refers to IMO's work on maritime security in the preparation of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and an International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, both to be adopted by an International Conference to be held at IMO Headquarters from 9 to 13 December 2002.

The letter concludes that the United States Senate views "the adoption of a robust, uniform and predictable set of international security standards as critical to meeting the increased need for global maritime security". It therefore feels it is in the best interests of the United States to have such international instruments in place. The passage of domestic legislation will implement many of the international standards and the United States expects that additional maritime security legislation will be considered during the next session of the United States Congress.

Mr. O'Neil welcomed this development and stated that he was confident of the successful outcome of the forthcoming Conference.

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