Cruise lines will now be mandated by law to publicize and provide details on all crimes committed on their ships.
A new provision of the Coast Guard reauthorization bill, signed into law Dec. 18, also stipulates that cruise companies post information about crimes that are alleged or under current investigation, reports Cruise Critic. The Department of Transportation will host a website to be updated quarterly where consumers can check out details of the reported crimes including names of the perpetrators, both passenger and crew member offenders.
Previously, the Coast Guard was held responsible for retaining and updated data about on ship crime, but only information about closed cases was available.
Cruise Lines International Association claims the rule is unnecessary and redundant—alleging that all cruise companies report crimes committed on their own websites.
"CLIA's position is that the new provision is unnecessary, because it largely duplicates information already available to the public, which shows that crime is rare on cruise ships and a fraction of corresponding crime rates on land," the association stated in a recent press release.
But Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) says cruise lines have not been honest about reporting previous crime history and has been pushing for the passage of an updated law for two years. Recent reports indicate that hundreds of crimes committed onboard have gone unreported in recent years.
The U.S. government has also addressed other issues of cruise line safety in recent years passing the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which requires lines to ensure all cabin doors with peepholes, outfit ship railing that are at least 3 and a half feet tall, among other provisions.