Local January 11, 2011 | 7:54 am

The U.S. slams Dominican port security, El Dia reports

Santo Domingo.- The United States has placed conditions on the entry of ships from Dominican ports, noting that they apply few controls and deficient safety measures, new source eldia.com.do reports.

The American authorities waive only the ports Multinodal Caucedo, La Romana and Cabo Rojo from the restriction.

A United States Coast Guard report approved by the U.S. Congress says Dominican ports don’t meet the requirements of the International Code for the Protection of Ships and Port Facilities, a document quoted by eldia.com.do.

Washington affirms it has determined that the measures “to fight against terrorism aren’t in place in the Dominican ports,” except Caucedo, La Romana and Cabo Rojo, and warns that conditions on the entry of ships coming from Dominican Republic will be applied until the deficiencies have been corrected.

“Given the number of ships at issue, the imposition of the new conditions of entrance will decelerate maritime trade between our countries and increase the port costs for the exporter,” the Coast Guard document says.

It adds that to revert that problem in Dominican ports, as part of the war on terror, the Dominican Government “must present a report” on how the deficiencies found in the terminals have been corrected, including the erection of perimeter fences, procedures for the verification people, vehicles, freight and provisions, task that must be carried out in a consistent manner, among others, since it continues being “the most benefited with the aid for the correct application (of the PBIP) than any other country of the region,”

The U.S. Government has also revealed that the authority responsible for those terminals “don’t seem to have precisely identified all public and private agents of the harbor facilities that are required to fulfill the PBIP, adding that the information found in the Web sites are inexact or incomplete.”

It says the Dominican ports which fail to meet the international safety norms appear in the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) website, where they report that they have approved and applied the PBIP, “when in fact they don’t do so.”

Among the terminals cited are Barahona (Consorcio Azucarero Central), Boca Chica, Ferquido, Haina (Aluminio Co.), Haina (EGE), Haina (Combustible Depot Quimica), Haina Occidental, Puerto Plata, San Pedro and Santo Domingo.

The U.S. “disappointed”

Although the report notes the Dominican Government’s willingness to receive the commissions that inspected the ports, it says there’s deception from the lack of advances in the matter of security in the fight against terrorism.

The inspection began in November, 2004, and continued in 2006, 2008 and 2009, in each opportunity finding that the PBIP hadn’t been met during six years.

The Coast Guard report says it’s willing “to help in the correction of the deficiencies.”

The report doesn’t mention drug trafficking, despite that it’s one of the main problems Dominican antinarcotics authorities face, from the constant threats of the South American cartels.

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