Fed Ex likes to say that it runs the tightest ship in the shipping business. It's the Coast Guard's mandate to run the tightest ship in the ship business, however, and to that end it is developing an automatic identification system (AIS) to monitor ships traveling to and through U.S. waters. A GAO review shows various challenges, such as whether local port authorities are willing to pay for some of the cost of the infrastructure needed to make it work.
A new law (formerly H.B. 283) addresses inconsistences between state and federal port security regulations. In 2000, Florida enacted a port security law to address criminal activity in the state’s seaports. However, the federal seaport security standards enacted after the 9-11 attacks, preempted some aspects of the state’s provisions. The ports were also duplicating their efforts on some measures.
The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) of 2010 imposes safety and security requirements, the majority of which are now in effect, on cruise lines that do business in the United States. Read the legislation online.