Terrorism and Port/Cargo Security: Developments and Implications for Marine Cargo Recoveries

This Article briefly reviews the history of terrorism from a maritime perspective and then outlines the legislation and various security initiatives enacted since the attacks of September 11, 2001, that are relevant to the carriage of goods by sea. After highlighting some of the more prevalent issues raised by the new security requirements, the potential impact on maritime cargo litigation is examined. The Article concludes that liability will depend on the precise circumstances of the loss (including, as a threshold issue, whether a terrorist act can be adequately established), whether the events were foreseeable, and, in the absence of one of the enumerated exceptions to liability found in COGSA (where it applies), whether adequate security was in place to protect the cargo from foreseeable events.