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Marine Log

May 22, 2006

DHS publishes TWIC proposal

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard have issued a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) in the maritime sector.

All individuals (including U.S. merchant mariners) with unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels would be required to have a TWIC.

Under this program, merchant mariners holding an active License, Merchant Mariner Document, or Certificate of Registry and workers who require unescorted access to secure areas at maritime facilities or on vessels must undergo a security threat assessment, and, if found to not pose a security threat, obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential. Persons without Transportation Worker Identification Credentials will not be granted unescorted access to secure areas at affected maritime facilities or on vessels.

Under this proposed rule, the Coast Guard seeks to amend its regulations on vessel and facility security to require the use of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential as an access control measure. It is also proposing to amend its regulations covering merchant mariners to incorporate the requirement to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential.

In a separate rulemaking action, the Coast Guard also is proposing to consolidate existing licensing and documentation regulations to minimize duplicative or redundant identification or background check requirements.

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