During a visit to Suriname from May 15 to 30, a group of experts from the U.S. Coast Guard was able to share best practices in port security efforts with their Surinamese counterparts.
Coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo, the visit was the latest since coordination between the U.S. Coast Guard and Suriname to strengthen port security began in 2006. During this visit, the Coast Guard experts met with the Maritime Authority Suriname (MAS), Suriname’s designated authority for the country’s port security efforts. The visiting U.S. Coast Guard experts also had extensive discussions with the Surinamese Coast Guard.
The visit gave the U.S. Coast Guard experts a chance to work with the various Surinamese authorities in exploring ways to improve security beyond the requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
The main objectives of the ISPS Code – in place since 2004 – are to help governments, and shipping and port industries around the world, to implement preventive security measures against threats to ships or port facilities used for international trade, and to promote information exchange at all levels about threats and possible solutions to them. The ISPS is thus vital to a country like Suriname, which relies on shipping for import and export of goods that sustain people’s livelihoods.
The visit was also a chance for the experts to talk with port security personnel at Oliestieger, NV Meelmaatschappij De Molen, Rubis Suriname Terminal, Sol and Traymore NV. These port security personnel play a vital role in Suriname’s economic health, as they keep Suriname plugged into the world market from by which it sustains its prosperity as a coastal nation.
The U.S. Coast Guard makes such visits because of the increasing depth of trade and travel between Suriname and the U.S. In 2020, even in the midst of the global pandemic limiting travel, there were still almost 150 vessels arriving in the U.S. and its territories which had either previously originated in or passed through Suriname’s ports.
“Ensuring Suriname’s port operations are secure and operating in a safe manner benefits both our nations,” said U.S. Embassy Political/Economic Section Chief Aaron Jensen. “It allows for an increased flow of goods, boosting imports and exports for both our countries. And increased port security plays an important role in ceasing the illicit flow of goods, which can harm both our civil societies.”