210 - 09/01 - Increased Security - Special Interest Vessel Program - USA

We have been advised by FOWLER, RODRIGUEZ & CHALOS of the following two programs which the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is implementing and administering with an increased level of vigilance at the moment.

“The first program, which has long been in existence, but is now receiving increased attention, is the Special Interest Vessel (SIV) program.  Details of this program are closely held government secrets, but we have been able to compile some general information, which is included here.  While the USCG carries out the day-to-day implementation, the program is actually administered by the U.S. President’s National Security Council (NSC).  As part of the SIV program, the NSC identifies nations whose vessels it believes to pose a potential threat to U.S. national security when present in
U.S. ports, internal waters and territorial seas.

This list of nations is divided into two categories - CATEGORY I and  CATEGORY II.  Vessels that are flagged in, or owned or chartered by citizens of CATEGORY I nations may enter U.S. territory, but only subject to advance approval and other restrictions, for example: three day notice of arrival for certain ports and USCG security inspections.  Vessels that are flagged in, or owned or chartered by citizens of CATEGORY II nations are prohibited from entering U.S. territory except for cases of innocent passage, force majeure and distress.

The current CATEGORY I - Special Interest Vessel list is:

Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

The current CATEGORY II - Special Interest Vessel list is:

Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, N. Korea, Sudan, Syria and Yugoslavia.


Whereas the SIV program is used to control the movement of vessels, the second program, which has been developed in the past week, is used to control the movement of individual seafarers.  Under this new program, all vessels entering U.S. waters must provide a crew list to the USCG Captain of the Port prior to entering port. 

The USCG will evaluate the crew list, and in many instances - all instances in New York and Long Beach - board the vessel to conduct a security inspection.  During this inspection, USCG, and perhaps Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), officials will be scrutinizing  documentation and interviewing members of the crew. 

Seafarers who are nationals of the countries listed below will not be permitted to leave the vessel while it is in U.S. territory: 

Afghanistan, Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestinian people, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tajikstan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Yugoslavia.

Further details on the above can be obtained from :-



Americana House

10 Audrey Ave.

Oyster Bay, New York 11771

Tel: (516) 922-5800

Fax: (516) 922-8131

E-mail: mchalos@frc-law.com



201 St. Charles Ave.  36th Floor

New Orleans, LA 70170

Tel: (504) 523-2600

Fax: (504) 523-2705

E-mail: ajr@frc-law.com

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