Marine Security Operations Bulletin - 2005-001

File number: 4203-60
No : 2005-001

ISSUE

Procedures Governing Changes In MARSECC Levels

Purpose:


Subject to the provisions of the Marine Transportation Security Act – Section 7, this directive outlines the decision-making process, and sets out the procedures to be followed by Transport Canada Marine Security Operations when raising or lowering Marine Security (MARSEC) Levels.

Directive:

MARSEC Level (1) is the security level for which minimum security procedures are maintained at all times by vessels, ports and marine facilities, as defined by the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSRs).

The Director General, Marine Security, shall require, through the formulation of a measure, that Canadian flagged vessels, vessels in Canadian waters, as well as Canadian ports and marine facilities regulated by the (MTSRs) operate at MARSEC Level (2) for a limited period as a result of a heightened risk of a security threat or a security incident. Evidence of a heightened risk might include, but is not limited to:

  • Credible information regarding a potential threat to marine security received by Transport Canada;
  • Credible information regarding a conspiracy to damage or destroy a marine facility or a vessel;
  • Evidence that essential vessel or facility equipment or systems, stores or cargo have been tampered with;
  • Evidence that there has been unauthorized access to a marine facility;
  • Information communicated through its Pre-Arrival Information (221(1) Marine Transportation Security Regulations) and tending to indicate that a vessel poses a heightened risk;
  • A Canadian foreign policy decision that might be expected to have an effect on the security of Canada's marine transportation system;
  • A developing international situation that calls for preventive security measures to be implemented in Canada or on board Canadian flagged vessels located outside of Canadian waters;
  • A decision made by a foreign Administration or Contracting Government to raise the MARSEC level at a local or national level, or on their flagged vessels, that could have an effect on Canada’s marine security interests.

The Director General, Marine Security, shall require through the formulation of a measure, that Canadian flagged vessels, vessels in Canadian waters, as well as Canadian ports and marine facilities regulated by the MTSRs operate at MARSEC Level (3) for a limited period when a security threat or security incident is probable or imminent regardless of whether the specific target is identified. Such probable or imminent risk might include, but is not limited to:

  • A credible threat of an imminent act of terrorism, whether or not directed at a specific target;
  • A confirmed act of terrorism, or an actual occurrence of undetermined nature believed to be a threat to Canada's maritime security;
  • Specific and credible information that unauthorized weapons, dangerous substances and devices, or equipment intended for use against persons, vessels or facilities have been found on a vessel or in a marine facility, including weapons of mass destruction.

Any requirement that the MARSEC level be set at level 3 shall include the advice that this is an exceptional measure which will apply only for so long as the threat is imminent, or for the duration of the security incident.

THREAT AND INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS:


The Director General, Marine Security, shall make recommendations regarding setting of the MARSEC level based on intelligence and threat a ssessments. Such intelligence may include the following:

  1. Information regarding the anticipated nature of the attack, for example, a hijacking, or a nuclear, biological, radiological, explosive, armed, or chemical attack on a marine facility or on a vessel interfacing with the marine facility;
  2. Any other social, political or economic aspects of an attack on a vessel or a marine facility, for example, anticipated effects on vessel traffic in the vicinity of the attack, or the effect of an erosion of public confidence in the security of the transportation system;
  3. The capability and resources of the suspect person or group to carry out the attack;
  4. Any other information which would facilitate the decision-making process to raise the MARSEC level.

PROCEDURE – RAISING THE MARSEC LEVEL FOR VESSELS IN CANADIAN WATERS, CANADIAN PORTS AND MARINE FACILITIES REGULATED BY THE MTSRs:

  1. Information about a heightened risk, or probable or imminent risk of a security incident is reported to the Director General, Marine Security;
  2. Based on the seriousness of the risk, and the size of the Canadian geographical area likely to be affected should an attack materialize, the Director General, Marine Security, issues a security measure to raise the MARSEC level and informs:
    1. TC representatives in the region or regions affected;
    2. The federal agencies and departments concerned
  3. The region or regions affected, following their own call-out procedures, notify affected ports, marine facilities, stakeholders, representatives of other regional government departments and agencies of the measure to raise the MARSEC level, and the anticipated duration of the measure, if this information is available;
  4. Intelligence information and analysis, together with field reports and situation reports, will move back and forth between the regions and national headquarters through the regional Situation Centres and TC Situation Centre in cooperation with the Government Operations Centre, for the duration of security incident or so long as the security threat is believed to exist.

PROCEDURE – RAISING THE MARSEC LEVEL FOR CANADIAN FLAGGED VESSELS REGULATED BY THE MTSRs, AND LOCATED OUTSIDE OF CANADIAN WATERS:

  1. Information about a heightened risk, or probable or imminent risk of a security incident that could potentially affect Canadian flagged vessels abroad is reported to the Director General, Marine Security;
  2. Based on the seriousness of the risk, and the size of the foreign geographical area likely to be affected should an attack materialize, the Director General, Marine Security, issues a security measure to raise the MARSEC level and informs:
    1. TC representatives in the region or regions affected;
    2. The federal agencies and departments concerned
  3. The regions, following their own call-out procedures, notify the Company Security Officers (CSOs) of the Canadian flagged vessels likely to be located in the foreign geographical area affected, and informs them of the anticipated duration of the measure, if this information is available;
  4. The regions obtain a written confirmation from the CSOs that the Masters of affected vessels have been notified of the measure and that the MARSEC level has been increased accordingly;
  5. The regions notify, through TC Situation Centre, the Director General, Marine Security, that they have obtained confirmation of the increased MARSEC level from the CSOs in their regions;
  6. Based on the nature of the risk and the intelligence information received, if applicable, the Director General, Marine Security, contacts the foreign Administrations in the regions affected to inform them of the increase in MARSEC level of Canadian flagged vessels in the area;
  7. Intelligence information and analysis, together with field reports and situation reports, will move back and forth between the foreign regions affected and national headquarters through regional Situation Centres and TC Situation Centre in cooperation with the Government Operations Centre, for the duration of security incident or so long as the security threat is believed to exist.

NOTIFICATIONS:

When the MARSEC level is changed by the Director General, Marine Security, issuing a measure, notification of such change shall be communicated following the procedures outlined in the document entitled ‘Protocol for Communicating Changes in MARSEC levels’.

NOTES:

  1. A vessel can never have a security level lower than that applying to the port or marine facility the vessel is entering or is in.
  2. A Contracting Government or Marine Facility Security Officer cannot require a vessel to reduce its security level.
  3. The initiation of an appropriate response to an emerging threat or actual incident cannot, and should not, await change of the security level by the Administration or Contracting Government. The vessel or marine facility should report the threat or incident, and the action taken, to the Administration and/or Contracting Government at the earliest practicable opportunity.

Any comments, suggestions or concerns can be addressed to the Director, Marine Security Operations by e-mail at marc.mes@tc.gc.ca.

Original signed

Marc Mes
Director Marine Security Operations
February 1, 2005
Date modified: