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Press Release | Jan. 23, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard International Port Security Program bolsters maritime security in the pacific

HONOLULU – The U.S. Coast Guard’s International Port Security (IPS) Program is making waves in strengthening maritime security across the Pacific, with representatives from Coast Guard Activities Far East (FEACT) recently conducting successful assessments in both Tuvalu and Taiwan.

From December 12 through 18, 2023, IPS delegates collaborated with Tuvaluan officials to enhance port security in Funafuti. The visit identified areas for improvement and led to Tuvalu requesting technical assistance to improve aspects of port security. This bilateral cooperation will bolster procedures and measures against unauthorized access, unlawful interference, and security threats at the port.

In partnership with global maritime trading partners, the IPS program seeks to reduce risk to U.S. maritime interests, including U.S. ports and ships, and to facilitate secure maritime trade globally. Through reciprocal port visits, the discussion and sharing of port security best practices, and the development of mutual interests in securing ships coming to the U.S., both U.S. port security and the security of the global maritime transport systems are enhanced.

“The IPS Program is committed to working with Pacific Island partners to strengthen maritime security in the region,” said Lt. Cmdr Adam Mullins, an international port security liaison officer with FEACT. “This Country Assessment visit was a valuable opportunity to identify Tuvalu’s needs and develop a plan to address them. We continue to value the partnerships we have and will continue to share best practices related to port security that help ensure a safe and secure maritime transportation system.”

From October 24 through 26, 2023, a team from the Coast Guard FEACT and a cybersecurity specialist from Coast Guard District 14 visited Taipei and Taichung to renew relationships and foster collaboration with Taiwanese counterparts. Discussions focused on maritime cybersecurity; a growing concern due to the increased reliance on digital systems in the industry. These activities fall under the framework to increase Coast Guard cooperation outlined under the March 2021 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the American Institue in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO).

The IPS team participated in a workshop hosted by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research and the Taiwan Maritime Ports Bureau, covering various maritime topics and featuring a District 14 Cybersecurity Specialist presentation on port cybersecurity. Additionally, meetings with Port Facility Security Officers and Staff at Taichung Port aimed to strengthen compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, a vital tool for detecting and deterring threats to maritime security.

These visits exemplify the IPS Program’s dedication to enhancing global port security through reciprocal assessments, sharing best practices, and promoting collaborative efforts. By working together, the Coast Guard and its partners are creating a safer and more secure maritime environment for all.

For more information on the U.S. Coast Guard's initiatives and collaborations, visit us on DVIDS or connect with us on social media: Facebook - @USCGHawaiiPacific, Instagram - @uscghawaiipacific, X (formerly known as Twitter) - @USCGHawaiiPac.