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Illustration by Security Management

Defense Bill Requires Surveillance Cameras for Cruise Ships

New cruise ship safety standards are on the way, as Congress included provisions in the $741 billion U.S. defense bill that impact the industry.

The new regulations, part of the Cruise Passenger Protection Act sponsored by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), will require ships to install surveillance cameras in all public places and have a trained physician on board. These will be the first new regulations for the cruise industry out of the U.S. Congress since 2010, The Miami Herald reported. Cruise companies must retain surveillance footage for 20 days, and they have five years to comply with the camera rule.

“The significant and long-overdue cruise ship health and safety standard improvements included in this bill will make our seas safer for passengers and crew alike,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

The last bill, the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, required the U.S. Coast Guard to publish crime statistics for cruise ships. It also mandated cruise companies install technology to detect when passengers and crews go overboard, and required each ship to have a registered nurse onboard. (Read more about this law in Security Management, "Cruise Control at Sea," March 2012.)

The crime reporting requirement was amended in 2014 to include all crimes, not just those with cases closed by the FBI, according to Fox Business.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to veto the wide-ranging defense bill; however, the bill passed the House and Senate with a veto-proof majority, so its passage into law is essentially assured, according to Forbes