We have created a document that provides information regarding the USCG/USCBP requirement for contract guards on vessels visiting the Lower Mississippi River.
The document provides complete references along with attachments.  Also included is ‘Decision Matrices’ to provide a quick look.
In summary, ensuring that all crew members are in a possession of a passport or seaman’s book with a crew visa will likely prevent the requirement of guards in most instances.
Many thanks to USCG Captain of the Port New Orleans, Captain Will Watson and his staff: as well as USCBP New Orleans Port Director Terri Edwards and her staff for the review and assistance in putting this information together.