Reporting of Crimes and Missing Persons
Unlike any comparable industry ashore, CLIA’s cruise lines are subject to strict legal requirements for the reporting of crimes on board cruise ships. In 1996 the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) adopted Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 120, requiring formal reporting of any felony arising in U.S. waters, or even on the high seas or in foreign waters if an American was involved, on all voyages to or from the United States. A written report of the incident must be completed as soon as possible and directed to both the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and USCG.
In 2010, Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) with the support of the cruise industry. In addition to various operational and structural requirements to enhance shipboard security and safety, the CVSSA codified the industry’s 2007 agreement for reporting of serious incidents on cruises to or from the United States, and dramatically increased penalties for non-reporting. The CVSSA also requires that passengers shall have available contact information for the appropriate law enforcement authorities. All passengers and crew must have access to information regarding the locations of the U.S. embassy and consulate in each country the vessel will visit during the course of the voyage. In addition to the CVSSA requirements, CLIA’s members have adopted a policy that all passengers and crew are to be provided the means and assistance to contact law enforcement authorities. In addition, cruise ships sailing to or from the U.S. are required by the CVSSA to record all complaints of crimes and thefts over $1,000 in a log that is subject to inspection by law enforcement officials.
Beyond these legal requirements, other flag States and port nations have enacted additional requirements or established protocols concerning the reporting of criminal activity. Also, CLIA’s members have adopted a policy that serious incidents as defined in the 2007 agreement with the FBI and USCG, and codified by the CVSSA, are to be reported to the ship’s flag State. Under this policy these serious incidents are also to be reported to local law enforcement when appropriate, depending on the specific circumstances including the location of the ship when the incident occurred.1
1Members are expected to comply with applicable crime reporting requirements of any legal authority.