MARITIME SECURITY – Progress and Challenges 10 Years after the Maritime Transportation Security Act, GAO, September 2012 (CORE1013)

Summary: This GAO report reviews how the US government has advanced maritime security since the introduction of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) in 2002 and what kind of challenges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component agencies have encountered in translating the Act’s requirements into practice. The report describes in detail the character, progress and future vision of main US maritime security programs, which, according to the report, fall into four domains: (1) security planning, (2) port and vessel security, (3) maritime domain awareness and information exchange and (4) international supply chain security. The report points out that the US maritime security scheme calls for further improvements in the areas of (1) program management and implementation, (2) partnerships and collaboration, (3) resources, funding, and sustainability as well as (4) performance measures.  This report describes the entire field of US maritime security, and this information is very useful for CORE demonstrations that involve shipping into, through or out of the US ports. The report is available at:

[s2If is_user_logged_in()]

Full review: This scope of this GAO document is broad as it covers the entire US maritime security, its many themes from funding to practical initiatives and risk assessment. CORE’s demonstrations that involve US-related maritime shipping can use this document to get a comprehensive and detailed information about the status and future challenges of the US maritime security scheme. Also the CORE’s risk cluster can use this document to analyze how the US government has established a risk-based, layered security system to protect the seaborne trade and logistics from terrorism, smuggling and other criminal activities. Because of the complete description of the US maritime security scheme, the report is excellent reference material for producing training material and educational contents in the CORE training cluster.


  • Maritime Security: DHS Progress and Challenges in Key Areas of Port Security. GAO-10-940T. Washington, D.C.: July 21, 2010. See pages 10-11.
  • Maritime Security: The SAFE Port Act: Status and Implementation One Year Later. GAO-08-126T. Washington, D.C.: October 30, 2007. See pages 15-19.
  • Information on Port Security in the Caribbean Basin. GAO-07-804R. Washington, D.C.: June 29, 2007.
  • Supply Chain Security: Container Security Programs Have Matured, but Uncertainty Persists over the Future of 100 Percent Scanning. GAO-12-422T. Washington, D.C.: February 7, 2012. See pages 13-14.
  • Supply Chain Security: Feasibility and Cost-Benefit Analysis Would Assist DHS and Congress in Assessing and Implementing the Requirement to Scan 100 Percent of U.S.-Bound Containers. GAO-10-12. Washington, D.C.: October 30, 2009. See pages 41-43.
  • Supply Chain Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Has Enhanced Its Partnership with Import Trade Sectors, but Challenges Remain in Verifying Security Practices. GAO-08-240. Washington, D.C.: April 25, 2008.


Additional keywords: Maritime Transportation Security Act, Secure Freight Initiative, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), Container Security Initiative (CSI), risk assessment, container screening, counter-terrorism, maritime security


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *