Cruise ships face airport-style security measures

The Coast Guard is considering new airport-like security procedures on cruise ships, the agency said Tuesday.

After consulting with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Coast Guard is proposing new pre-boarding screening requirements for passengers, crew members, and their luggage.

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The pre-boarding requirements could resemble those seen at airports and would include a list of prohibited items.

"The Coast Guard consulted with the Transportation Security Administration during the development of this proposed rule,” the agency wrote in the Federal Register.

Many cruise ships already follow various security procedures, but the new rules would standardize screening requirements and provide a "consistent layer of security at terminals throughout the United States," the agency wrote.

The rules would apply to cruise passengers, crew members, and visitors as they board. Their luggage would also be screened for dangerous substances and devices.

But the prohibited items list will be more relaxed for cruise ships, because they do not present as grave of a danger to the public as an airplane, which “can be used as a missile," the Coast Guard noted.

“The goal of the prohibited items list is not to completely eliminate all possible risks,” they wrote.

“Items such as steak knives or ice axes could be used to create a transportation security incident, but they are readily available to cruise ship passengers for recreational and other purposes and thus it would be ineffective to prohibit them upon boarding,” the Coast Guard added.

The public has 90 days to comment on the proposed rules.