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MSA to oversee port and ship security

Maritime Safety Authority to oversee port and ship security

Cabinet has agreed that the Maritime Safety Authority will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of new international requirements for port and ship security said Associate Minister of Transport, Harry Duynhoven today.

The new requirements aim to prevent acts of terrorism against international shipping and come into effect on 1 July 2004.

"This is a challenging deadline," said Mr Duynhoven. "But New Zealand's ports are already proactive about security and I am confident that we will be able to build on that to comply with the new international measures."

"The first priority for the Maritime Safety Authority will be to work closely with port and shipping companies to identify security risks, assets and infrastructure that could be terrorist targets.

"Cabinet has also decided to establish a national port and ship security committee, chaired by the Maritime Safety Authority and including the Customs Service, Police and other agencies. The Government wants to ensure a co-ordinated approach to implementing the new requirements and to build on existing border security systems," said Mr Duynhoven.

The new requirements have been developed by the International Maritime Organization and are set out in an International Code for Ship and Port Security. A Maritime Security Bill, announced last December, will establish the new requirements in New Zealand law. The Bill will be introduced later this year.

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