Thursday, March 27, 2008


How will the TWIC be used?
During the initial rollout of TWIC, workers will present their cards to authorized personnel, who will compare the holder to his or her photo, inspect security features on the TWIC and evaluate the card for signs of tampering. The Coast Guard will verify TWICs when conducting vessel and facility inspections and during spot checks using hand-held scanners, ensuring credentials are valid. A second rulemaking will propose enhanced access control requirements, including the use of electronic readers by certain vessel and facility owners and operators.

Will TWICs be used for access control?
Yes. Upon the effective compliance date for their Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector, owners and operators will be required to visually inspect the TWIC for each worker granted unescorted access to secure areas of a facility or vessel. Also, some owners and operators may choose to integrate TWIC cards into their existing access control systems, although owners and operators are not required to purchase, install, or maintain card readers until technologic and logistic improvements are complete and are included in a second rulemaking. The Coast Guard will conduct checks using handheld readers to confirm the identity of TWIC holders during regular inspections and unannounced spot checks. A second regulation will propose card reader requirements that utilize all of the unique technologies employed in the TWIC.

Where can I read the TWIC rule?
The TWIC final rule is available on TSA's website here and more information on port security is available at the U.S. Coast Guard's Homeport site here. It can also be accessed at the DOT Docket Management system here, by searching on docket number 24196 and document number 857.
Was the public involved in the rulemaking?
Yes. In addition to direct involvement from the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee, TSA and the U.S. Coast Guard held four public meetings around the nation and received more than 1,900 comments from workers, port owners and operators, small businesses and others who would be affected by the new program. All comments were carefully considered and significant changes to the NPRM were made in the development of the final rule.

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