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US Coast Guard could detain ships not complying with IMO guidelines

Ships sailing in US waters could be detained if they are found not to be complying with the IMO’s cyber risk management guidelines.

The guidance to inspectors on how to enforce the guidelines, which come into effect in January, states that serious deficiencies will require fixing and an external audit carried out within 90 days, or risk detention. Minor deficiencies will need an internal audit within 90 days and the deficiencies to be fixed prior to departure.

Robert Dorey, CEO of cyber risk management and insurance company, Astaara, said the USCG’s position is a stark warning to shipowners that non-compliance is not an option.

‘The US Coast Guard have fired the first salvo and have put operators of foreign flagged vessels on clear notice that if they arrive in a US port without the required cyber security/hygiene, they risk being impounded, or at the very least being required to undertake rapid remediation,’ he said.

‘There are indications in the document that cyber security will start to be regarded as a fundamental enabler for seaworthiness. It is also clear that the USCG is agnostic about which flag the vessel is travelling under – either they are compliant or they have deficiencies which need to be fixed, or the vessel will be seized.’

Astaara has a number of services aimed at getting shipping companies ready for the IMO guidelines deadline, including the more comprehensive Astaara Cyber SMS Review and the new, introductory level, Marine CyberStaart.

‘Our latest product gives shipping companies a very clear picture of where they stand, where their weaknesses lie and how they would stand up to a cyber-attack,’ said Mr Dorey.

‘We also carry out a review of their insurance cover against the Astaara benchmark to give them a better understanding of insurance solutions’.

‘Marine CyberStaart gives shipping companies a comprehensive overview of what their current cyber protection is and what could be done to improve it in order to comply with the impending regulations.’
Source: Astaara

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