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Does the USG concur with the contention that a foreign ship owner that fails to comply with the security plan requirements of the MTSA runs the risk of not limiting its liability in the event of a terrorist attack involving the vessel in US waters?

Specifically with regard to the limitation of liability issue, the MTSA and our regulations do not address third party liability. We have concluded however, that the requirements of the MTSA are satisfied through participation in the international regime and that an owner's ability to limit liability is not in jeopardy by complying with the MTSA regulations. In our view, compliance with a plan will not only prevent a TSI (Transport Security Incident) but also will allow an owner of a SOLAS vessel who has complied with the SOLAS amendments and the ISPS Code to limit liability. This can be accomplished by those responsible for security effectively implementing its plan so that the requirements of the ISPS Code are met. of course we re-emphasise the point that this assumes the plan being implemented fully complies with the SOLAS amendments and the ISPS Code and takes into account the relevant provisions of Part B. We will be vigorously overseeing this implementation through a very active port state control regime and through our foreign country audit program.
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