Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Port Security Seminar 2016: Responding to an evolving maritime and port security environment

Published:Tuesday | July 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM
From left: S-CBPO Robert Divis, CBP Fort Lauderdale AT-CET; Chief CBPO Michael Barney, CBP Fort Lauderdale AT-CET; Grantley Stephenson, CEO Kingston Wharves Limited; Trevor Riley, CEO Shipping Association of Jamaica; Professor Gordon Shirley, president and CEO, Port Authority of Jamaica/Kingston Container Terminal; Robert Montague, Minister of National Security; Chief CBPO Lisa Clark, CBP/CSI HQ; Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese, commissioner and CEO Jamaica Customs Agency; Major General (Ret’d) Stewart Saunders, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security; US Embassy political/economic counsellor, Cleveland Charles.

Key stakeholders in the local maritime sector recently partnered with the United States Embassy and the US Customs and Border Protection's Container Security Initiative (CSI), to plan how to effect legislative change as it pertains to port security. This was organised by Maurice Lawrence (CSI Kingston TDY) as part of his agency's commitment to reducing the high levels of smuggling and the contamination of shipping containers with contraband.

The Shipping Association of Jamaica, the Port Authority of Jamaica, Kingston Wharves Limited and other port stakeholders co-sponsored the Port Security Seminar 2016, under the theme 'Charting the Road Ahead, Responding to an Evolving Maritime and Port Security Environment', at the Colin Powell Plaza, Kingston, Jamaica. This event provided a forum for presentations on various current issues impacting maritime security. The attendees included US Embassy political/economic counsellor Cleveland Charles, representing Ambassador Luis G. Moreno; Robert Montague, minister of national security; Professor Gordon Shirley, president and CEO, Port Authority of Jamaica; Grantley Stephenson, CEO Kingston Wharves Limited; Major (Retd) Richard Reese, commissioner and CEO Jamaica Customs Agency and Trevor Riley, group CEO; Shipping Association of Jamaica.

According to Riley, these seminars have brought considerable value by engaging stakeholders in a collaborative effort to share information and efforts to defeat common threats. He noted that the real value is the fact that local agencies engaged individually in the effort to remove the threat of contamination of our supply chain are now recognising that there is a very strong case for sharing information.

"The bad guys are sharing information and are using collaboration to combat those of us who work to protect our trade. We must enhance our collaboration if we are to stay ahead of them and the threats they pose to our supply chain," he said.

Critical information was shared by key decision-makers in the sector, including Shirley, who spoke on the need to make maritime security a priority of government at the highest level. Major Reese spoke on the topic, 'Risk-Based Approaches to Customs Security'.

'Maritime Security Legislative Framework and Best Practices' was discussed in depth by a panel that included legal experts Bertrand Smith of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica; Kwame Gordon of Samuda & Johnson, attorneys-at-law; Orett Brown from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and James Candelaria out of the US Department of Justice.

'Global Supply Chain Security Best Practices' were presented by Armand Ertle of Crowley Maritime Services (Florida). Chief of Customs and Border Protection Michael Barney and colleague Robert Divis led discussions on 'Port Security Measures, Trends and Overall Operational Security in Maritime Shipping'. Captain (Retd) George Reynolds, Security Administrators Limited, spoke on developing and maintaining an effective multi-agency framework for intelligence gathering, investigation and security operations.