Thursday, March 27, 2008

How was TWIC created?
Congress, directing the federal government in controlling access to secure areas is a critical component of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) efforts to enhance port security created legislation through the Maritime Transportation Security Act, or MTSA.

TWIC is a common identification credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA-regulated facilities and vessels, and all mariners holding Coast Guard-issued credentials. TSA will issue workers a tamper-resistant "Smart Card" containing the worker's biometric (fingerprint template) to allow for a positive link between the card itself and the individual.
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.

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