Coast Guard's TWIC spot checks find facilities not in compliance

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(MIAMI) –Coast Guard Field Teams from Sector Miami conducted spot checks at 38 port facilities Tuesday to assess compliance with new federal requirements involving the Transportation Worker Identification Card, or TWIC. Effective Jan. 13, certain workers at port facilities regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) are now required to hold a TWIC.

More than 90 percent of the facilities checked Tuesday were in compliance, however, five cargo facilities were found to be non-compliant. Of the five, two were corrected on the spot with no impact to operations. Three were ordered to suspend MTSA related operations until they have complied with the TWIC requirements. The vessels moored at the three facilities may depart at any time. However, these facilities cannot accept any additional MTSA regulated vessels until conditions required by the COTP are met. The Coast Guard is working with the three non-compliant facilities, Bernuth Marine Shipping, Port of Miami River Terminal and 5th Street Terminal to gain TWIC compliance and resume normal operations.

The Transportation Security Administration opened 149 TWIC enrollment offices nationwide to process TWIC applications, including three offices at or near the three largest seaports in Southeast Florida in early 2008. TWIC education outreach to the impacted industry commenced in early 2007.

In accordance with the requirements of the MTSA and the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act), the TWIC serves as an identification card for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA regulated facilities. To obtain a TWIC, an individual must successfully pass a security threat assessment conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

By Professional Mariner Staff