Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA) launched in November of 2004, an initiative aimed at mobilizing the leaders of the public and private sector community to take a more active role in supporting maritime security efforts in Haiti, specifically through the development of the Maritime Security Alliance for Haiti (MSAH). CCAA has developed the foundation of the MSAH by bringing together a public/private sector coalition, committed to International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) compliance in Haiti. The coalition, working in collaboration with the national Port Authority, includes:
This project is being funded partially by USAID through the award of an initial challenge grant of $700,000, matched by contributions from the government of Haiti and local and international private sector. Initially scheduled to close in December 2005, the MSAH has been extended a full year to December 2006, through an additional challenge grant of US$1,000,000 and with matched contributions from key partners. CCAA, as the executing agency, is working in consultation with the Florida Ports Council (FPC) and other technical partners to successfully complete the project. The Association des Industries d'Haïti (ADIH) is the local coordinator.
The MSAH is committed to improving Haiti’s maritime port security and ensuring the uninterrupted maritime trade to and from the country. Since the implementation of new maritime security regulations as set forth by the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ISPS code, and the U.S.’ Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) legislation, security requirements have become an integral part of the trading system, determining the flow of goods just as quotas do. The MSAH has as its primary objective the establishment of a comprehensive program in Haiti’s ports, starting with Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitian, and Saint Marc, to ensure that they meet ISPS and MTSA maritime security requirements.
The MSAH developed a multi-faceted program that will mobilize the leaders from the business community (local and international) to take a more visible role in supporting maritime security efforts with their stakeholders (peers, workforces, customers, suppliers, etc.). Through this Alliance, CCAA created a network of respected public and private sector individuals who commit themselves in terms of time and resources to educate and engender broad-based support for the implementation of required systems related to Haiti’s port security, consistent with identified best practices.
The MSAH goals are to:
Working with the maritime associations in Haiti, the HAMCHAM, the Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH), and other private sector organizations, including our own business team members such as Seaboard Marine and others, CCAA is serving as the catalyst for a coordinated program of activities in Haiti with stakeholders and constituents to provide education awareness programming for users of the ports and the general population as to the realities related to the new maritime security regime that will be implemented and the impact that it will have on port access, trade, industry, and employment.